With just three days to go until the 2018 CFL Draft, its time to release my annual full eight round Mock Draft. I take time to select my picks based on my own assessment of the prospects, the team fit and needs, and what I’ve heard from other sources. Ultimately, its as inaccurate as all mock drafts but I hope you enjoy it.
2018 CFL Mock Draft
Pick #1. Montreal Alouettes
Selection: Mark Chapman, REC, Central Michigan Chippewas
I debated this pick back and forth. With the addition of Henoc Muamba, there is no longer any pressure to start a Canadian receiver and adding to the offensive line makes a lot of sense, but when have the Alouettes ever been that smart? Mike Sherman is an offensive minded head coach and in his 5 years as general manager of Green Bay he drafted pass catchers 4 times in the first 2 rounds and only one O-linemen. The CFL is obviously a different game and lineman have much higher value, but the whole Alouettes staff is inexperienced and Chapman will stand out as a flashy, pro-ready option that instantly upgrades a position group.
Pick #2. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Selection: Trey Rutherford, OL, UConn Huskies
The Ti-Cats have a solid trio of starting Canadians on the offensive line, all talented and on the right side of thirty. Beyond that, however, the depth leaves something to be desired. Rutherford is a talented lineman who is committed to having a career in the CFL and will step into a depth role instantly with the ability to start right away in the event of injury.
Pick #3. BC Lions
Selection: Peter Godber, OL, Rice Owls
BC needs to upgrade their offensive line in order to revive Jonathan Jennings’ career trajectory and return to relevance in the league. With the third pick, they have a chance to add the best player in the whole draft by my assessment. He will start early and often, solidifying the BC interior for years to come.
Pick #4. Ottawa Redblacks
Selection: Jackson Bennett, DB, Ottawa GeeGees
Ottawa has a wealth of Canadian talent throughout the roster and have no immediate needs to fill on the offensive line. It makes sense that they would add a local product that can help the roster in multiple ways. Much like current Redblacks All-Star Antoine Pruneau, Bennett can play both safety and SAM linebacker. He also has the skills to spell Diontae Spencer off in the return game.
Pick #5. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Selection: David Knevel, OL, Nebraska Cornhuskers
I’m on record as saying Knevel’s draft stock is over-inflated but would it really be the CFL Draft without the Chris Jones Riders drafting a Division One player with a small amount of questionable game-tape. Saskatchewan will be attracted to the big school pedigree and his impressive size.
Pick #6. Edmonton Eskimos
Selection: Mark Korte, Alberta Golden Bears
With only one pick in the early rounds, Edmonton must draft the best player available early. Mark Korte is a blue-chip player and a local kid to boot. He immediately becomes their top offensive line prospect and has the ability to compete at the right tackle position.
Pick #7. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Selection: Ryan Sceviour, OL, Calgary Dinos
Winnipeg changing the ratio along the offensive line means they are in need of some high calibre depth. Sceviour is the best, non-NFL affiliated offensive lineman available at this point and will inevitable see some play time next season.
Pick #8. Calgary Stampeders
Selection: Andrew Pickett, OL, Guelph Gryphons
Calgary is in serious need of a revamp on the offensive line but picking eighth means most of the top tier linemen are off the board. Pickett can play center and guard and brings an element of toughness that the Calgary front is missing.
Pick #9. Toronto Argonauts
Selection: Godfrey Onyeka, DB, Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks
With perhaps the best Canadian talent in the league, Toronto has the luxury of picking best available here. A true cover man, Onyeka will fit right in with Canadian DBs like Jermaine Gabriel, Matt Black and Robert Woodson. He also rejoins his brother Nakas.
Pick #10. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Selection: Dakoda Shepley, OL, UBC Thunderbird
With a wealth of draft picks in the first three rounds, Hamilton has the luxury to take a flyer on an NFL signee. Shepley can play both guard and tackle with freaky athleticism and seems more likely to return north than fellow signee Ryan Hunter. If he does, it will be a coup d’état for the Tabbies.
Pick #11. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Selection: David Mackie, FB, Western Mustangs
This may seem to be a bit too high to draft a fullback but players like Mackie don’t come around everyday. Hamilton doesn’t currently have a true fullback on the roster either, with Felix Faubert-Lussier operating mostly as a receiver in mini-camp. There is no flash to this pick but Mackie will help on offence and special teams instantly.
Pick #12. BC Lions
Selection: Julien Laurent, DT, Georgia State Panthers
BC will more than likely start a Canadian on the defensive line this season but once you get past Junior Luke and David Menard, talent gets a little thin. Laurent gives the Leos a rotational option on the interior and a powerful run stopper.
Pick #13. Ottawa Redblacks
Selection: Jean-Gabriel Poulin, LB, Western Mustangs
Ottawa has little in the way of national content at linebacker which isn’t ideal for special teams and injury substitution. They can confidently take the best linebacker in the draft here, whose aggressive attitude will fit Noel Thorpe’s scheme.
Pick #14. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Selection: Jordan Beaulieu, DB, Western Mustangs
With the release of Jeff Hecht, Saskatchewan currently has a competition between Mike Edem and Marc-Olivier Brouillette at safety. Edem has struggled to live up to his potential throughout his career and Brouillette is an All-Star calibre player with one retirement already under his belt and a lucrative law career calling. Beaulieu is a heavy hitter who provides instant depth at that position with starter potential down the road.
Pick #15. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Selection: Isiah Guzylak-Messam, DB, Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks
Hamilton had tremendous success when Craig Butler manned the safety position and Courtney Stephen was field corner. With Butler now retired and Stephen firmly entrenched at safety, the addition of a top tier corner like Guzylak-Messam could allow them to return to that ratio combination later while adding depth now.
Pick #16. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Selection: Daniel Petermann, REC, McMaster Marauders
The Bombers have made great strides in improving a once yawn-inducing Canadian receiving corps. Petermann is the type of high character player that O’Shea loves and gives them another burner for depth.
Pick #17. Calgary Stampeders
Selection: Ryder Stone, RB, Dartmouth Big Green
The Stamps will return to an American in the backfield next season but Calgary is rarely without a talented Canadian in development. Stone is originally from Calgary and is an intelligent, multi-faceted runner who can contribute on the teams while earning his opportunity on offence.
Pick #18. Toronto Argonauts
Selection: David Brown, OL, Western Mustangs
Excellent value here, the Argos add to an already deep offensive line with a player who would be considered in the top tier had he not suffered a late season injury. Toronto is able to wait for him to heal and reap the rewards.
Pick #19. Montreal Alouettes
Selection: Darius Ciraco, OL, Calgary Dinos
The Als finally add help to their aging O-line in the third round. Ciraco is a talented center who can develop into a replacement for Luc Brodeur-Jordain.
Pick #20. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Selection: Rashaun Simonise, REC, Calgary Dinos/Okanagan Sun
While other teams will hesitate on Simonise due to off the field issues, June Jones will love Simonise’s NFL size and talent. With Andy Fantuz gone, Simonise will compete with Shamawd Chambers and Mike Jones for playing time whether they start one or two national receivers.
Pick #21. BC Lions
Selection: Micah Teitz, LB, Calgary Dinos
BC adds another talented Canadian linebacker to solidify their special teams. They added Jordan Herdman and Frederic Chagnon through the draft last year, and Mitch Barnett in free agency but you can never have too many National tacklers and new GM Ed Hervey built quite a stable in Edmonton.
Pick #22. Ottawa Redblacks
Selection: Justin Lawrence, OL, Alberta Golden Bears
Ottawa adds some depth in the trenches with a versatile interior presence. Won’t start this year but will leap frog current prospects for a key backup spot.
Pick #23. Montreal Alouettes
Selection: Nelkas Kwemo, LB, Queen’s Golden Gaels
With the long-term addition of Muamba, the Alouettes will need some youth to develop and learn behind him. Kwemo has the body of a true middle linebacker and will fill that need.
Pick #24. Toronto Argonauts
Selection: Ryan Hunter, OL, Bowling Green State Falcons
The Argos take advantage of depth at the position to take a flyer on NFL signee Hunter. If he doesn’t work out in Kansas City, his addition could go a long way to helping Popp and Trestman achieve the dream of an all Canadian front.
Pick #25. Calgary Stampeders
Selection: Brett Wade, DL, Calgary Dinos
Local product who can play multiple spots along the defensive front and push last years first round pick Randy Colling for rotation reps.
Pick #26. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Selection: Boston Rowe, LB, Calgary Dinos
No longer starting a Canadian in the middle with the departure of Sam Hurl, the Bombers still load up on Canadian backers for their special teams’ value. Mike O’Shea will love Rowe’s high football IQ and attitude.
Pick #27. Montreal Alouettes
Selection: Keiler Cherry, OL, Acadia Axemen
A mountainous man who has flown under the radar due to injury, Cherry falls in to the Alouettes lap here as a strong developmental pick to help revitalize an aging line.
Pick #28. Calgary Stampeders
Selection: Justin Buren, REC, Simon Fraser Clan
Buren is a steal here in my opinion. Provides a key depth piece that can push Anthony Parker for the back up spot and has more pure receiving talent than their recent string of big bodied Canadian receiver draftees.
Pick #29. Ottawa Redblacks
Selection: Regis Cibasu, REC, Montreal Carabines
Cibasu has odd dimensions for a receiver but adds some depth behind Brad Sinopoli. They could use his size in the receiving game in a fashion similar to how they used Patrick Lavoie.
Pick #30. Ottawa Redblacks
Selection: Mickael Cote, LB, Concordia Stingers
Another depth linebacker addition, Cote’s size will excite the Redblacks and help him as a special teamer.
Pick #31. Montreal Alouettes
Selection: Bo Banner, DE, Central Washington Wildcats
Locked in to starting a National defensive end since signing Jamaal Westerman, the Als have no depth at that position. Bo Banner will change that and has the speed to contribute as a special teamer as well.
Pick #32. Edmonton Eskimos
Selection: Lekan Idowu, DB, Windsor Lancers
Edmonton is in a tough position with this being there first pick since Round One. They need depth at defensive back and with all the blue-chip prospects off the board, overlooking Idowu’s short stature in favour of his freakish athleticism and special teams value could be the play.
Pick #33. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Selection: Tanner Green, FB, Concordia Stingers
Winnipeg values the fullback position very highly for its value on special teams but with the departure of Christophe Normande, they don’t have a true starter at that spot. This addition will allow Mike Miller and John Rush to focus on blowing up returners while Green handles the blocking.
Pick #34. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Selection: Justin Howell, DB, Carleton Ravens
Another piece of DB depth, Howell gives them even more options and should be a special teams contributor.
Pick #35. Toronto Argonauts
Selection: Etienne Moisan, FB/REC, Laval Rouge et OR
Declan Cross has established himself as one of the CFL’s best full backs. Moisan gives depth behind him and equals his pass catching ability.
Pick #36. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Selection: Dagogo Maxwell, DB, UBC Thunderbirds
Chris Jones values versatility highly. Maxwell is a former receiver turned shutdown DB with return abilities. Seems like a perfect fit.
Pick #37. Edmonton Eskimos
Selection: Kene Onyeka, DE, Carleton Ravens
The future in Edmonton is being built around Kwaku Boateng and they need depth behind him. Onyeka won’t be a factor this year but he’s the best pass rusher available at this point and the Esks can lock him in for the future.
Pick #38. BC Lions
Selection: Arnaud Gendron-Dumouchel, OL, Montreal Carabines
Ed Hervey loves big linemen and Gendron-Dumouchel is absolutely massive. He will be a fascinating project.
Pick #39. Calgary Stampeders
Selection: Mathieu Breton, DL/OL, Bishop’s Gaiters
Calgary has a successful recent history of converting defensive linemen into offensive linemen. Breton has tremendous size and could be the next project, potentially turning in to a successful tackle like recent retiree Dan Federkeil.
Pick #40. Edmonton Eskimos
Selection: Tyrone Pierre, REC, Laval Rouge et Or
Edmonton lacks much in the way of Canadian receivers but needs to add depth if they ever hope to start former first round pick Nate Behar. Pierre is a completely different type of receiver and provides and intriguing big target.
Pick #41. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Selection: Alex Taylor, RB, Western Mustangs
Taylor becomes another Winnipegger in the Bombers backfield and gets to learn from two of the best Canadian rushers in the league.
Pick #42. Calgary Stampeders
Selection: Royce Metchie, DB, Guelph Gryphons
Metchie adds some much needed DB depth to a team that will likely start a Canadian safety for the first time in several years.
Pick #43. Toronto Argonauts
Selection: Paul Kozachuk, DB/LB, Toronto Varsity Blues
A dynamic player who can fit as both a DB and LB, Kozachuk reminds me of current Argo Nakas Onyeka and could find a similar role in Toronto.
Pick #44. Montreal Alouettes
Selection: Jacob Firlotte, DB, Queen’s Golden Gaels
A big bodied safety, Firlotte will serve as a developmental depth piece behind Dondre Wright and Chris Ackie.
Pick #45. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Selection: Atlee Simon, RB, Regina Rams
The Riders have no Canadian rushers behind Jerome Messam. Simon is a local product with value as a pass catcher as well.
Pick #46. BC Lions
Selection: Will Watson, REC, UBC Thunderbirds
Will Watson is a high value target in this spot who can provide Canadian depth at receiver and will be a willing special teams contributor
Pick #47. BC Lions
Selection: Khadim Mbaye, LB, Ottawa GeeGees
Another versatile linebacker who will turn in to a special teams ace.
Pick #48. Edmonton Eskimos
Selection: Tristan Koronkiewicz, DE, Saskatchewan Huskies
An explosive athlete that will provide the much needed defensive line depth behind Kwaku Boateng this season.
Pick #49. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Selection: Eric Mezzalira, LB, McMaster Marauders
Another tackling machine to add depth and special teams ability.
Pick #50. Calgary Stampeders
Selection: Levi Hua, OL, UBC Thunderbirds
Hua is an intelligent center that could fall into Calgary’s lap due to size concerns. Could factor in to the Stamps future plans once they move back to a National center.
Pick #51. Montreal Alouettes
Selection: Marco Dubois, REC, Laval Rouge et Or
Drafting Dubois gives Montreal an instant special teams demon that could rack up more tackles than anyone currently on the roster.
Pick #52. Montreal Alouettes
Selection: Nolan McGreer, OL, Carleton Ravens
A bit of a project due to his weight, McGreer is another O-line addition for the Als with potential. Could end up playing tackle which gives him added value.
Pick #53. Edmonton Eskimos
Selection: David Fortier, DB, Sherbrooke Vert et Or
A very underrated DB, Fortier could end up competing at the safety position while playing on the teams.
Pick #54. BC Lions
Selection: Marcus Davis, REC, UBC Thunderbirds
Versatile BC product who can catch, run and return kicks. Reminds me of a Canadian Chris Rainey and is a threat to score whenever he touches the ball, something the Lions have lacked in there Canadian content.
Pick #55. Ottawa Redblacks
Selection: Bryce Vieira, RB, Ottawa GeeGees
A player who reminds me of Anthony Coombs, Vieira could play either receiver or running back, providing depth at both spots.
Pick #56. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Selection: Michael Brouwers, DE, McMaster Marauders
With Hamilton starting multiple Canadians on the D-line, Brouwers will provide depth at the defensive end spot behind Justin Capicciotti and Connor McGough.
Pick #57. Edmonton Eskimos
Selection: Sam MacMillan, OL, Toronto Varsity Blues
Excellent value late in the draft, MacMillan is a versatile lineman with intelligence and bloodlines. Would compete with existing players for an early backup role.
Pick #58. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Selection: Maxime Tessier, DT, Sherbrooke Vert et Or
An athletic big man that will provide the Bombers with depth once Faith Ekakitie takes the next step in his development.
Pick #59. Calgary Stampeders
Selection: Gabriel Ouellet, DB, Laval Rouge et Or
Another depth defensive back to reinforce a newly Canadian position group.
Pick #60. Toronto Argonauts
Selection: Mitch O’Connor, REC, McMaster Marauders
Toronto has some of the best Canadian receivers in the league but you can never have too much depth, especially with a special teams player as versatile as O’Connor.
Pick #61. Montreal Alouettes
Selection: Rashari Henry, DL, Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks
With the ability to play both inside and out, Henry will help the Alouettes play two Canadian D-linemen.
Pick #62. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Selection: Mitch Kernick, FB/REC, Waterloo Warriors
A blocker and receiver, Kernick could compete for a depth role at either fullback or slotback while contributing on special teams.
Pick #63. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Selection: Maxime Latour, LS, Sherbrooke Vert et Or
A very talented long snapper who can rip the ball, Latour could compete with Jorgen Hus for the role.
Pick #64. Ottawa Redblacks
Selection: Jeremy Magan-France, DT, Bishop’s Gaiters
A strong interior presence on the defensive line who can compete amongst a slew of Ottawa pass rushers.
Pick #65. Edmonton Eskimos
Selection: Richmond Nketiah, REC, Waterloo Warriors
A versatile receiver who doesn’t get enough credit, Nketiah adds another depth piece to the Edmonton receiving corps.
Pick #66. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Selection: Christopher Amoah, RB, Laval Rouge et Or
One of the drafts fastest players, Amoah might be the best available player at this point and deserves to be drafted based on athleticism.
Pick #67. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Selection: Guillaume Paquet, REC, Montreal Carabines
A late round addition to the Bombers receiving corps that could compete for a roster spot.
Pick #68. Calgary Stampeders
Selection: Joel Houle, FB, McGill Redmen
The retirement of Rob Cote lost Calgary its best offensive blocker. Houle fills that void with ease.
Pick #69. Toronto Argonauts
Selection: Andrew Peirson, OL, Gannon Golden Knights
An O-linemen who has played both ways, Peirson is a great developmental prospect more than worthy of the draft’s final selection.