The CFL Draft is finally here and who doesn’t love a mock draft! With there only being nine picks in each round of the CFL draft, one would think that most of the picks would already be determined, but that is certainly not the case this year. There are so many prospects available whose talent is so high that they have already signed NFL contracts—most notably U SPORTS stars Antony Auclair and Geoff Gray—whose CFL draft stock may have fallen by signing a contract south of the border. Without further ado, here is CUSN’s 1st Round mock draft of the 2017 CFL draft.
#1) WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS
FAITH EKAKITIE DL — IOWA
After the 2017 NFL draft unfolded and many undrafted players signed NFL contracts, the CFL’s first overall pick seemed to reveal itself quite nicely. Many projected top picks likeGeoff Gray signed NFL contracts which leaves their CFL status with an asterisk beside it. Faith Ekakitie was not one of these players. After not testing the NFL market, Ekakitie is a “ready now” CFL player and the Blue Bombers need “ready now” players.
#2) SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS
ELI ANKOU | DT — UCLA
The first risk of the draft will come very early. Ankou is a 331-pound defensive tackle who dominated the PAC-12 conference. Ankou signed a priority undrafted free agent deal with the Houston Texans after the NFL Draft so his NFL aspirations are still alive. If he does choose to come north of the border however, Eli Ankou could be a dominant force for the Riders.
#3) BC LIONS
GEOFF GRAY| OL — MANITOBA
This may be a big risk for a BC team that needs to fill a lot of depth spots, but the best available Canadian player in the draft is hard to pass up. If Gray eventually comes back to Canada, the Lions need a national offensive lineman who can be a dominant player for years to come. The wait for a U SPORTS player to be drafted won’t last very long.
#4) HAMILTON TIGER-CATS
DANNY VANDERVOORT| WR — MCMASTER
The TiCats will be more than happy to select the best wide receiver available in the draft. Hamilton needs a receiver and it won’t hurt that their first round selection went to school in Hamilton and his student house is 10 minutes away from Tim Hortons Field. Watch for this pick to be traded for however, as the BC Lions desperately need a wide receiver and may pay a heavy price for Vandervoort.
#5) EDMONTON ESKIMOS
ROBERT WOODSON | DB — CALGARY
The Eskimos will have the biggest shock of the draft as they select the defensive back from Calgary. Woodson may not be ranked as a first round pick, but the value of talented Canadians on your roster is extremely high. Woodson is arguably the best defensive back available in the draft and it doesn’t hurt that he played the Canadian style of football while playing for the local Dinos.
#6) WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS
MASON WOODS| OL — IDAHO
The Bombers will fill a need on their offensive line with the sixth pick regardless of who is taken in the first five selections. Woods has a massive frame and has tremendous upside. With Geoff Gray off the board, the Bombers will happily select the Vandals’ Mason Woods.
#7) BC LIONS
NATE BEHAR | WR — CARLETON
If the Lions do not trade down to pick up Danny Vandervoort with the fourth overall selection, they will fill their need at receiver with this dynamic Carleton Raven receiver. Nate Behar has proven that he can not only play the slot back position, but that he can also play as a wideout, collecting nine majors and nearly 100 yards per game last season in the red and black. Nate Behar will be aiming to make some noise in Vancouver in 2017.
#8) CALGARY STAMPEDERS
DARIUSZ BLADEK | OL — BETHUNE-COOKMAN
Bladek at one point was ranked as high as third by TSN’s Marshall Ferguson, but he is the third best available offensive lineman in the draft. The Stampeders have a great roster already and Bladek will add more depth to the roster.
#9) OTTAWA REDBLACKS
KWAKU BOATENG | DL — LAURIER
He may be too small to play as an inside pass rusher and might lack the coverage skills to play as an outside linebacker, but Kwaku Boateng is the most talented pass rusher available in the CFL Draft. He is ready to play special teams immediately until his new management staff sorts out which position he will play on defence, but let’s get one thing straight: Kwaku Boateng can rush the quarterback like no other and you can’t teach skill like his.