2019 CFL Draft Prospect Rankings: Top 20 Defensive Backs

If its athletic freaks you’re after, then you are in luck! This is a deep defensive back class that is as fast and physical as I’ve ever seen.


Top 20 Defensive Backs


20. Troy Hansen, Alberta Golden Bears
Height: 6’4 / Weight: 212lbs

Troy Hansen
Slower than you would like for a defensive back, Hansen compensates with a massive body and by hitting like a hammer. His size and skill set would make for a nice depth safety and special teamer.


19. Malcolm Thompson, Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks
Height: 5’9 / Weight: 196lbs

malcolm thompson
While he lacks ideal length, Thompson is a versatile defensive back who plays above his stature. He is an excellent breaker on the ball and possesses intriguing ball skills that should be a deserving of CFL opportunity.


18. Kerfalla Emmanuel Exume, Montreal Carabins
Height: 5’11 / Weight: 194lbs

kerfalla emmanuel exume
Kerfalla is a sure tackler and an excellent special teams’ player, a skill set that is highly valued by CFL teams. He has fluid hips and plenty of coverage upside as well.


17. Cody Cranston, Ottawa GeeGees
Height: 6’1 / Weight: 175lbs

cody cranston
Cranston is often overshadowed by his teammate in the defensive backfield but is a talented player in his own right. He is extremely positionally sound, which consistently means that he is where he needs to be to make plays.


16. Hakeem Johnson, Western Mustangs
Height: 6’0 / Weight: 193lbs

hakeem johnson
Johnson’s size and athleticism have attracted a lot of attention following the Combine season. On tape he is a capable, if unspectacular, prospect who’s rawness of technique is just as apparent as his impressive down the field speed.


15. Bryce Bartlett, Tusculum Pioneers
Height: 5’8 / Weight: 176lbs

bryce bartlett
One of the draft’s fastest players, Bartlett makes up for his small size by being a vicious hitter. He shows quick feet and smooth hips in adjustments, excelling as a blitzer and at punishing underneath routes.


14. Jaryn Bailey, Simon Fraser Clan
Height: 6’0 / Weight: 198lbs

jaryn bailey
Bailey has ideal size for a defensive back and shows the versatility to play multiple positions. He is adept as a press corner, but equally capable of commanding a defence from the safety position.


13. Antoine Lyte-Myers, Saint Mary’s Huskies
Height: 5’8 / Weight: 174lbs

antoine lyte-myers
Lyte-Myers is undersized but its easy to forget that when he is taking your head off with physical play. An underrated athlete hidden in the AUS, he reads the quarterback’s eyes and breaks on routes with reckless abandon.


12. Ejaz Causer, Queen’s Golden Gaels
Height: 5’10 / Weight: 182lbs

ejaz causer
Causer is an excellent route reader, allowing him to break on screens and come hard out of breaks while still in his receiver’s hip pocket. He is a strong and versatile player who could suit up in a variety of spots but will excel on special teams.


11. Scott Hutter, Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks
Height: 6’0 / Weight: 194lbs

scott hutter
An excellent safety prospect with tremendous special teams’ upside. Hutter possesses a well-rounded skill set that is both smooth and physical.


10. Kevin McGee, Laval Rouge et Or
Height: 5’7 / Weight: 200lbs

kevin mcgee
A mighty mite, McGee is physically the strongest DB in the draft despite being the smallest. That strength shows on tape as bone rattling tackles. He is also adept at breaking on route from the safety position and is one of the better playmakers in the draft.


9. Jay Dearborn, Carleton Ravens
Height: 6’3 / Weight: 194lbs

jay dearborn
Dearborn is a physical freak who jumps out of the gym. On tape, he is considerably more raw. While his athleticism shines through, he needs to develop better game sense to be more than a special teams’ ace.


8. Lautaro Frecha, Waterloo Warriors
Height: 5’11 / Weight: 195lbs

lautaro frecha
Frecha is a textbook tackler who doesn’t just wrap people up but drives through them. A bit slow to succeed as a pure cover man, he’ll excel as a safety and will love to get his nose dirty in the run game.


7. Shamar Busby, Southeastern Louisiana Lions
Height: 5’9 / Weight: 190lbs

shamar busby
Busby is an intriguing prospect who played a limited slot corner role for Southeastern Louisiana. He is a bit undersized but has good coverage skills and could fit as a CFL halfback.


6. Nick Hallett, Toronto Varsity Blues
Height: 5’10 / Weight: 194lbs

nick hallett
Hallett is a sideline to sideline playmaker who will excel from the safety position. He is an excellent tackler, talented in zone coverage and will be a difference maker on the teams.


5. Matt Boateng, Fresno State Bulldogs
Height: 5’10 / Weight: 169lbs

matt boateng
The fastest player in the draft, Boateng rarely saw the field at Fresno State but when he did showed the shutdown coverage ability that is highly valuable to CFL teams. There are few players that Boateng can’t keep pace with and he can change directions on a dime, valuable assets for a corner.


4. Jacob Janke, York Lions
Height: 6’0 / Weight: 198lbs

Jacob Janke
A true SAM backer who can also play safety, Janke is just as good in coverage as he is making tackles in the box. He is a sideline to sideline playmaker who will be a special team’s demon and could become a legitimate starter at several positions.


3. Malcolm Lee, UBC Thunderbirds
Height: 6’2 / Weight: 191lbs

malcolm lee
Lee is athletically gifted and flashed in testing, garnering much deserved praise. He is big, fast and explosive but can often over-rely on his own athleticism, putting himself in difficult positions and occasionally getting burnt. He is still learning the defensive back position and needs to become a better tackler to prove his worth on special teams.


2. Jamie Harry, Ottawa GeeGees
Height: 6’1 / Weight: 200lbs

jamie harry
Harry is the perfect National defensive back. He has ideal size, possesses the physicality to play safety and the coverage skills to play corner or halfback. Harry is brilliant at adapting his play to capitalize on the scheme, reading route combinations to break on the ball or bullying receivers on the line in press. His versatility makes him more valuable than Lee.


1. Stavros Katsantonis, UBC Thunderbirds
Height: 5’9 / Weight: 188lbs

stavros katsantonis
Katsantonis is undersized and I literally could not care less. The Bakersfield Bandit has the best instincts I’ve ever seen in a Canadian player, with an uncontrollable nose for the football that results in turnovers at a rate of almost one per game. If his ball skills weren’t enough, he also lays the hammer as a tackler and is a willing special teamer. I have watched every UBC game for 4 years as a student and avid fan. Katsantonis has been UBC’s single most important player, outside of quarterback, that entire time.

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