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The 2019 CFL Draft starts Thursday at 8 pm and our team of scouts, led by alumni all-star Miles Gorrell, is prepared to make the most of it. Knowing our first-round pick was used to select coveted o-lineman Tyler Johnstone in last year’s supplemental draft, will we be able to optimize the roster with the remaining picks? Miles Gorrell says yes, absolutely.
“We have four picks in the first 21st, considering we have the right to a territorial exemption. We should be able to get our hands on players who won’t necessarily start this year, but will grow in our system,” he says.
The Director of National Scouting was selected as a territorial exemption himself by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. If anybody knows how valuable an extra pick at the end of the second round can be, it’s him.
“We’re thinking long-term, particularly this year. Scott Florys are rare,” he explained referring to the immediate success of the ex-Alouette in the CFL. “It’s crucial for us to recruit guys who will want to stay with us more than two seasons. A territorial exemption is one more local talent, one more guy who knows the environment, who knows the culture and who won’t struggle to get used to the pace of this city.”
The 2019 draft class includes many Quebecers who would likely be very useful to our squad. Think receivers like Justin McInnis and Hergy Mayala who had brilliant college careers in the US, but are from the Montreal area, or o-linemen such as Samuel Thomassin of the Rouge et Or and Grégoire Bouchard of Western.
D-linemen and DBs could also receive a call from a 514 number come Thursday. This year’s group includes quite a few solid athletes at those positions.
“When we speak to guys, we examine their path, we look at where they’ve been. If a player lived with his parents in a village of Western Canada his whole life, he is far more likely to be home sick when he lands in a big city where everybody speaks French. The psychological aspect shouldn’t be underestimated,” Gorrell says.
The goal isn’t necessarily to meet immediate needs, but rather to find diamonds in the rough. Like Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians said : “you can’t draft for need. You draft the best players available and longevity counts for a lot, particularly for a team that has to develop its next Luc Brodeur-Jourdains.” Speaking of LBJ, don’t forget he was drafted last in 2008. 11 years later, he’s still here…