My next positional ranking features an extremely strong defensive line class that features the single most dominant USports player I have ever evaluated.
Top 15 Defensive Linemen
15. Lukas Redguard, Concordia Stingers
Height: 6’0 / Weight: 255lbs
Redguard is a versatile prospect who has enough speed to play the edge and more than enough strength to move inside. He shows flashes of effective hand usage but needs to add more tools to his arsenal to excel at the next level.
14. Tariq LaChance, Manitoba Bison
Height: 6’3 / Weight: 256lbs
LaChance is an enigmatic prospect given that he hasn’t played competitive football since 2016. He has an ideal body type with great length and showed tremendous versatility at the Combine, including an impressive arsenal of pass rush moves. However, how he will stand up in game situations is still up in the air.
13. Charbel Dabire, Wagner Seahawks
Height: 6’1 / Weight: 300lbs
Dabire is a strong interior penetrator who possesses surprising quickness. He is difficult to move off the mark in the run game and disruptive enough to consistently flush passers from the pocket. The major question around Dabire is how his body type will translate to the CFL game. At 300 pounds, he falls into the traditional mold of a space eating American football defensive tackle and players of that style often falter in Canada.
12. Charles Nwoye, Langley Rams
Height: 6’2 / Weight: 251lbs
A raw physical specimen who is still learning the game of football, suiting up for the first time during his time at UBC. He has great length, a high motor and a vicious swim move. Nwoye will be a heavy special teams’ contributor and could develop into something special.
11. Derek Dufault, Manitoba Bison
Height: 6’2 / Weight: 240lbs
Dufault is light for a lineman but he plays with impressive power and consistently puts tackles on the back foot. He oozes pass rush potential but needs to improve his hand usage. Dufault will be highly valuable as a special teams’ player given his size.
10. Sheriden Lawley, UBC Thunderbirds
Height: 6’5 / Weight: 265lbs
Lawley has proven at both the USports and NCAA level that he is an effective interior pass rusher. Lawley is smooth in his movements and difficult to block. He can get washed out a bit in the run game but will consistently get to quarterbacks on passing downs.
9. Thomas Grant, Acadia Axemen
Height: 6’6 / Weight: 290lbs
Power is the name of the game for Grant. He is a space eater for the Canadian game and can shut down the inside run game. He possesses more pass rush upside than many might assume and could be a great depth pickup for a CFL team. He also has some potential to convert to offensive line given his size.
8. Evan Machibroda, Saskatchewan Huskies
Height: 6’3 / Weight: 272lbs
Machibroda will return to school next year but his draft value is still incredibly high. He is strong on blocks and nearly impossible to move, while also possessing the strength to toss offensive linemen aside. He could be a dominant interior presence at the next level.
7. Vincent Desjardins, Laval Rouge et Or
Height: 6’1 / Weight: 260lbs
Desjardins is a quick twitch player with a motor that cannot be stopped. He can rush the passer from inside or on the edge, welcome versatility for a National DL. In the shadow of his Laval teammate currently, Desjardins will shine at the next level.
6. Michael Sanelli, Concordia Stingers
Height: 6’2 / Weight: 281lbs
Sanelli is strong like a bull and moves with a quickness that is almost unfair for a man of his size. He dominates offensive linemen with strong arms and imposes his will upon his opponents. He even shows the ability to rush from the edge, impressive for a 280-pound man.
5. Nate Anderson, Missouri Tigers
Height: 6’2 / Weight: 253lbs
Anderson is a power edge rusher, who shows the strength and explosion necessary to play in the SEC. While he lacks a variety of tools, he has had success against high level competition and is technically sound. I could see Anderson adding a little weight and being asked to move inside at the next level.
4. Robbie Smith, Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks
Height: 6’2 / Weight: 242lbs
Smith is a lethal speed rusher who can bend the edge like few others. His long arms give him the ability to rip, separate from blockers and knock down passes. Smith also has special teams upside that will help push him up draft boards.
3. Connor Griffiths, UBC Thunderbirds
Height: 6’3 / Weight: 284lbs
Griffiths has a rare combination of power and quickness that makes him nearly impossible to control. He demands double teams and opens up holes for teammates to make plays. He is a starting calibre defensive tackle in the CFL.
2. Jonathan Kongbo, Tennessee Volunteers
Height: 6’4 / Weight: 256lbs
Once the top five-star JUCO transfer in college football, Kongbo has failed to live up to the hype in his role at Tennessee. However, Kongbo’s body type and skill set is ready made for the CFL game. While he struggles against the run, he does possess valuable pass rushing skill and athleticism. He will also be able to contribute on special teams once he recovers from a torn ACL.
1. Mathieu Betts, Laval Rouge et Or
Height: 6’2 / Weight: 254lbs
Betts isn’t just the best defensive lineman, but also the best player in the draft. He is better than all USports alumni currently in the NFL and may never play a down in the CFL. He possesses every single tool and seems to operate at an entirely different speed from his opponents. If the NFL stumbles in their evaluation, Toronto should not hesitate to take him first overall.