April 30, 2021

CFL Draft Week: Happy Memories and Hard Work for Éric Deslauriers

“I’m proud of my nine seasons in Montreal.”

Former receiver Éric Deslauriers remembers very well where he was when his father called him in 2006 to tell him that the Alouettes had just drafted him. This first-round pick (seventh overall) In the CFL Draft had just completed a workout and was resting his sore muscles in an ice bath.

The Alouettes were my father’s favorite team. He’s from Dixville, in the Eastern Townships. On Fridays and Saturdays, we always watched Alouettes games. He was really happy for me when he heard my name called,” says the Alouettes’ Director of Football Operations.

The Gatineau-native spent nine seasons in the nest. In 115 games, all played with the Alouettes, the athlete caught 99 passes for 1,334 yards in addition to three touchdowns. In 2011, he caught Anthony Calvillo’s 395th touchdown pass, allowing him to make history as the CFL’s all-time leader in passing touchdowns.

The former Eastern Michigan University Eagle helped Montreal hoist the Grey Cup twice, in 2009 and in 2010.

Looking back, I’m so proud of my nine seasons in Montreal. I had the chance to win two Grey Cups and play with good players who have become great friends. I wanted to come to Montreal, I had heard good things about the franchise’s history.

A lot of hard work

The 2021 Draft will be special again because it will feature footballers who haven’t played in two years because of the pandemic. That’s why General Manager Danny Maciocia, his right-hand man Brendan Taman, Director of U.S. scouting Russ Lande, and Director of national scouting Byron Archambault, and Éric Deslauriers have been watching a lot of videos over the past 24 months.

We received a list of nearly 450 CFL prospects for the draft and went through it extensively. We analyzed most of their games. We wanted the latest images of the players to give us the best possible idea of what they were capable of.”

Head Video Coordinator Rico Morotti, who’s been with the Alouettes since 1996, has not stood idle either. He is the one who created and assembled these films to help the football operations team to do its job well. Morotti deserves some credit… Greg Quick, one of the Alouettes’ coaches, has also helped for the upcoming draft.

Video interviews also allowed the Alouettes to get to know the footballers better. Eric and the football operations team participated in no less than 50 interviews of almost 30 minutes each to get a better idea of the athletes.

“These conversations tell a lot about an individual’s mind, desire to win, and mental state. We got the right answers by asking the right questions and we feel that we’re ready for Tuesday.”