I love the CFL Draft, that much is obvious, but even on its best day it is the biggest crap shoot in professional sports. I spend hundreds of hours every year evaluating prospects and come draft day there is inevitably a name called I’ve never even considered. Now that the draft eligible list is public due to the league’s pick selection contest, I read through to see any potential prospects I hadn’t considered. Here are 10 oddities I hadn’t considered, players who did not attend any combines and still might be drafted.
10 Players You’ve Never Heard Of Who Could Be Draft Day Surprises
10. Malcolm Chaka, LB, Cornell Big Red
Height: 6’3 / Weight: 235lb
Chaka didn’t see the field much at Cornell, but he has an ideal body type and that has resulted in less productive players being drafted. An Ivy League degree will be far more lucrative for Chaka than a CFL career, but I could see a team keeping him as a secret option late in the draft, especially with a weak linebacker class.
9. Seth Roemmele, REC, Montana State Northern Lights
Height: 6’0 / Weight: 200lb
Roemmele has played at a fairly low level of college football in the NAIA but shows good movement skills and decent hands in an offence that doesn’t exactly throw the ball all over the field. A team may take a late shot on him over a USports prospect knowing he doesn’t have the luxury of returning to school.
8. Chris Judge, DE, Cal Poly Mustangs
Height: 6’3 / Weight: 225lb
Cameron Judge’s older brother hasn’t played football in four years so his inclusion on the draft list indicates that he has undergone the process of proving his eligibility and has interest in playing. Whether teams will be interested in the smooth moving defensive end who excelled on special teams after so long away is another question entirely.
7. Zack Greenberg, LS, Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagles
Height: 5’10 / Weight: 221lb
Greenberg has been a consistent long snapper for his entire career at Minnesota Crookston. When it comes to drafting long snappers, teams can often go off the board and Greenberg could be an intriguing option.
6. Louis-Mathieu Normandin, REC, Montreal Carabins
Height: 6’1 / Weight: 207lb
A nagging injury kept Normandin out of the Combine circuit, but he has the frame and skillset to rival many of the invited prospects. Over the course of his career, he has been more productive than last season’s highly coveted Carabins receiver Regis Cibasu.
5. Frederik Robitaille, DE, Carleton Ravens
Height: 6’3 / Weight: 237lb
Robitaille has a good body for a National defensive end and has been consistently productive during his time at Carleton. I have some questions about his athleticism, however, and that is hard to answer without a Combine performance.
4. Donovan Hillary, LB, Winnipeg Rifles
Height: 6’2 / Weight: 230lb
An extremely productive linebacker in the CJFL, Hillary looks smooth and technically sound on tape. With his pro style frame, its unfortunate that he didn’t get a chance to prove his athleticism against higher calibre competition at a Combine, especially in such a weak linebacker class.
3. Christian Krause, OL, Manitoba Bisons
Height: 6’5 / Weight: 315lb
Finding offensive line gems is the feather in the cap of any CFL GM. Krause was a two-time CJFL All-Canadian who saw limited action for Manitoba last year but has shown that he can be a rabid dog as a run blocker. Someone may see the potential, though I have serious questions in regards to his movement skills.
2. Tavita “Asotui” Eli, OL, Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
Height: 6’4 / Weight: 290lb
A three-year starter at center for Hawaii, Eli lost weight in 2018 to convert to left tackle in his senior year and then seriously injured his knee in training, losing the year and dropping off the map. He is a physical blocker with intelligence and excellent use of leverage who is a first-round talent. The fact that we’ve yet to hear about him might mean he has no interest in playing CFL ball or that his knee injury was incapacitating, either way this is the CFL Draft and those things don’t always stop teams.
1. David Ungerer, REC, Idaho Vandals
Height: 5’9 / Weight: 181lb
How Ungerer has flown under the radar this long is a mystery to me. He is an explosive athlete with incredible production as a receiver and returner who ran a 4.6s forty at his pro day and has hired a CFL agent. The fact that I only found out about him yesterday is inexcusable and he would have been a top 7 receiver in my positional rankings. He is small but I expect Ungerer is one player on this list you can virtually guarantee getting drafted.