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The Montreal Alouettes filled up on national talent on Thursday as the team selected nine players in the 2019 CFL Canadian Draft, including receiver Kaion Julien-Grant with their first selection of the night in the second round (13th overall). The club selected offensive lineman Tyler Johnstone in last year’s supplemental draft, forfeiting their first round pick this year.
Julien-Grant (6’2″, 197 lbs.) made 49 catches good for 638 yards while scoring five majors last season for the St. Francis Xavier University’s X-Men. In this winters CFL Combine he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.49 seconds. In 31 career games with the X-Men, the 22-year-old Toronto, ON native caught 118 passes for 2,032 yards while crossing the goal line 22 times. He also added 672 yards on 31 kickoff returns and 1,786 yards on 119 punt returns and two touchdowns.
With their second pick of the second round (16th total), the Alouettes selected defensive end Nate Anderson, who played the last two seasons with University of Missouri Tigers in the SEC division of the NCAA.
Anderson (6’4″, 255 lbs.) made 21 tackles in 13 games with the Tigers in 2018. In two seasons with Missouri, the Toronto, ON native amassed 33 tackles in 25 games, adding two sacks and 3.5 tackles for losses. He had previously played two seasons with the New Mexico Military Institute, registering 63 tackles, 19 tackles for a loss and 6.5 quarterback sacks.
With a territorial pick at the end of the second round, Montreal acquired Université Laval Rouge et Or offensive lineman Samuel Thomassin (6’6″, 330 lbs.) who just came off back-to-back Vanier Cup championships. The Quebec City, QC native was elected a first team All-Canadian last season as well a second team All-Canadian the previous season. He was part of an offensive line that helped protect now Alouettes quarterback Hugo Richard who completed 170 of his 236 passes for 2,185 yards and 18 touchdown passes in 2018.
In the third round, with the 21st pick of the evening, the Alouettes selected offensive lineman Zach Wilkinson (6’5″, 285 lbs.). The Vancouver, BC native played collegiately for the Northern Colorado University Bears. A three-year starter at Northern Colorado, he helped the offence averaged 366.3 yards offensively per game last season. He saw action as a true freshman as a blocking tight end and offensive lineman in 2014, before becoming the starting right tackle as a sophomore.
In the fourth round, Montreal drafted its second receiver of the evening when the club selected Chris Osei-Kusi (6’2″, 197 lbs.). The Brampton, ON native played four seasons for the Queen’s University Gaels. In 28 games, the receiver caught 126 balls for 1,862 yards and eight touchdowns.
With its fifth round pick, the Alouettes didn’t have to go too far as the club selected defensive lineman Michael Sanelli (6’2″, 285 lbs.) from the Concordia University Stingers. In 2018, the Toronto, ON native made 12 solo tackles, 8.5 tackles for losses of 58 yards and 5.5 sacks in seven games.
In the sixth round, the Alouettes selected running back Jeshrun Antwi (6’0″, 205 lbs.) of the Calgary University Dinos. In five games in 2018, the running back gained 360 yards on 42 runs and three touchdowns. He was named to the West team of the U SPORTS East-West Bowl.
In the following round, the club selected Benjamin Whiting (6’3″, 225 lbs.) who suited up for eight regular season games with Scott Flory’s Saskatchewan University Huskies in 2018. The linebacker registered 30 solo tackles and 28 assisted tackles (first in Canada West). He also knocked down four passes and was a part of the team that won the Hardy Cup.
With their final pick of the evening, the Alouettes picked defensive back Cody Cranston (6’2″, 170 lbs.). The latter played eight games with the Ottawa University Gee Gee’s in 2018. He registered 24 tackles, made one interception and forced two fumbles. In 32 games, he amassed 96 solo tackles and 30 assisted tackles, seven interceptions and four forced fumbles.
The Alouettes picks:
2 (13) Kaion Julien-Grant, WR, St. Francis Xavier
2 (16) Nathan Anderson, DL, Missouri
2 (19) Samuel Thomassin, OL, Laval
3 (21) Zach Wilkinson, OL, Northern Colorado
4 (30) Chris Osei-Kusi, WR, Queen’s
5 (39) Michael Sanelli, DL, Concordia
6 (48) Jeshrun Antwi, RB, Calgary
7 (57) Benjamin Whiting, LB, Saskatchewan
8 (66) Cody Cranston, DB, Ottawa