May 6, 2022

‘We call him a unicorn’: Alouettes talent evaluators break down each draft pick

The Montreal Alouettes drafted nine players during last Tuesday’s CFL Draft. General manager Danny Maciocia and his staff watched tape and evaluated these prospects for hours and hours leading up to the draft. In order to break down the newest members of the Alouettes, we asked the talent evaluators to give us their perspective on each prospect.

1 (1) Tyrell Richards – LB – Syracuse:
“The reason why we felt we needed to move up to the first overall pick to get a player like Tyrell Richards is because there were no other players like him in this draft. He’s one of a kind. We call him a unicorn because he has all the measurables. He moves well and can do so much for you on defence and special teams. His abilities are going to have an impact on our football team this season. He can do so much. All the off-the-field studies we conducted led us to believe that he’s going to be a very good asset for us.” – P.Y Lavergne – Director of National Scouting

1 (9) Tyson Philpot – WR – Calgary:
“He’s a feisty blocker, tough competitor, a guy that can break tackles and go the distance on every play. It’s really a rare commodity to have a Canadian receiver be able to do this. What he definitely brings is that he can stretch the field as a Canadian as well. He’s a guy that we can put in gadget packages. We can line him up outside, inside. He’s very versatile. He’s done returns. He really is a complete package of a Canadian receiver. To me, it was a slam dunk when he was still there at nine. There’s no chance that we could pass on the best available player in the draft at that point. I think he’s going to be a Canadian starter in this league eventually for a long time to come.” – Eric Deslauriers – Senior Director Football Operations/Player Personnel.

2 (18) Rodeem Brown – OL – Alberta:
“His toughness jumps out at me right away. The toughness, the physicality. I think a lot of people put a lot of weight on the height, the length of people at that position. Although it is a positive when you have some length, I think this kid plays bigger than his size. He plays with aggression, he’s nasty, he likes to finish, and that fits right in with the kind of guys that we have on the offensive line and the kind of guys that we want to attract on our squad. This kid has a great mindset about him too. He’s prepared, he has a certain amount of structure in his thought process and how he goes about things. He knows he’s going back to school; he knows he must work and improve on stuff, and he’s a hard worker. You see that on the field. Whenever he can keep on going, and keep working on the field, he does it.” – Byron Archambault – Director of Player Personnel/Linebackers coach

3 (24) Vincent Forbes-Mombleau – WR – Laval :
“He’s a stocky, tough receiver. He’s a kid that had to go through the regional combine. He pulled his hamstring, came back and still did the drills. He went to the national combine and was arguably one of the better receivers, if not the top receiver at the combine. I liked his film, but I didn’t realize he had that much compete in him. He’s a guy that will be able to add some special teams value. He’s going to be a player that day one that everybody is going to love. He’s got a great charismatic energy to him. Obviously, he’s a local kid that comes from down the street. He’s somebody that is very versatile. He might be better utilized inside, but I think we can put him outside and he can give us the short to intermediate routes. I think he’ll be very, very productive.” Eric Deslauriers

4 (33) Tysen-Otis Copeland – DB – Montreal:
“I had the pleasure of working with this young man at the University of Montreal. He has an extremely big heart. He gives everything that he has. He’s a very smart player with impressive athletic abilities. There’s length at a position where it can help you out. He’s a ball-hawk. He’s a sure tackler in the open field. He’s a guy that’s able to process a lot of information quickly. Mixed with a combination of size and speed, those are all things that are very attractive in a defensive back. Tysen will compete to contribute on the special teams side of things and at various spots in the secondary.” – Byron Archambault

5 (42) Ryth-Jean Giraud – RB – Montreal:
“RJ is a guy that you really love his run skills. He made a lot of big runs between the tackles. He also made a lot of big runs outside the tackle box. He’s got a change of speed; he’s got good blocking skills and he also catches the ball well out of the backfield. He was among the best complete pure running backs in this draft class. I think he’s a guy that can come in and learn a system and be part of the mix. He’s explosive, he has some return-ability. He’s a versatile guy that will bring a lot to the table. He’s an intriguing guy and we can’t wait to work with him.” Jean-Marc Edmé – Director of Pro Personnel

6 (51) Peter Kozushka – OL – Alberta:
“He comes from the same school as Rodeem Brown, and they got the same kind of coaching. They’re coached, you can clearly see it by the way they play, they’re coached to be aggressive, to be tough. The old expression “be the hammer, not the nail” is well represented by these two young men. I think Kozushka is that kind of guy with a lot of upside. He’s a big, big, big human being, long, and I think that when he wants to move people, he uses that size well and he uses that strength. When you like to run the ball like we do, that skillset is something that becomes very interesting for us. His interviews were impressive, too. He’s an impressive young man.” – Byron Archambault

7 (60) Yanis Chihat – DL/LB – Laval :
“The thing with Yanis is that we like the size. When we watched the film, he played on the defensive line. He’s a high-effort guy. He’s a guy that well well-coached and he played until the whistle. When he went to the regional combine, he dropped a lot of weight. He was around the 230 mark. He showed some flexibility because he worked out with the linebackers and the d-lineman. He really intrigued us with his versatility. We feel he has a good special teams body-type. It’s tough to find a guy that big who can run as fast as he does right now. He’s a guy that, down the road, we feel he can be a three to four phase special teamer. He’s a guy who may also be a fullback/tight end and he may also contribute as a linebacker.” Jean-Marc Edmé

8 (69) Zach Lindley – LB – Western:
“The thing I like about Zach is that he’s a very active and instinctive player. He’s always able to find a way to get to the ball carrier through traffic. He’s always going to put his nose in the trash. Those are attributes that will translate very well to special teams. He has a good chance to fight for a spot because he’s so feisty.” – Pier-Yves Lavergne