The offensive lineman from the University of Alberta agreed to settle with the Colts on Saturday after being bypassed in the 2020 NFL draft. O’Donnell’s deal would include a major signing bonus of US $ 25,000.
Other Canadians signing free agent contracts include Montreal Carabins defensive back Marc-Antoine Dequoy (Green Bay Packers), defensive lineman Michael Brown, Los Angeles Rams ) and wide receiver Simon Fraser Rysen John (New York Giants).
Two Canadians were drafted by NFL clubs, both of which were caught on Friday evening. Notre Dame wide receiver Chase Claypool, from Abbotsford, Colombia, measuring six feet four inches and 238 pounds, went in the second round, # 49 overall, against the Pittsburgh Steelers before the Cowboys of Dallas does take Neville Gallimore from Ottawa, a six-foot player. – two defensive tackles of 304 pounds from Oklahoma, in the third round, n ° 82 in total.
Gallimore and Claypool were both 1-2 in the final list of the top 20 at the CFL screening office, released last week, before the draft, scheduled for Thursday. But those will be future choices given where they went in the NFL draft.
O’Donnell (third overall), Hoecht (# 6), Dequoy (# 9) and John (# 18) were also on the screening bureau’s list. However, with the NFL deals, they are expected to be choices later on Thursday.
The six-foot-six, 315-pound O’Donnell from Red Deer, Alberta, dropped anchor on an offensive line that allowed Alberta to average 399 yards and 5.2 yards per carry this season. O’Donnell was a first Canadian all-star team and competed in the East-West Shrine Bowl in Florida.
At the end of the project, six NFL teams contacted O’Donnell, giving him the unique ability to weigh offers and situations before deciding where to start his professional football career.
Hoecht, a six-foot-four, 310-pound player from Oakville, Ont., Made the final list of the Screening Bureau’s top 20 after being bypassed in the previous two additions. Hoecht had 42 tackles, nine tackles for a loss and four sacks last season to Brown.
A former team captain, he has played 37 career games with the Bears, recording 174 tackles, 29.5 tackles for a loss, 16.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. And Hoecht wasted little time contributing to the program, playing in seven games in the first year.
“He’s tall, he’s athletic, disruptive,” said a CFL general manager. “He does a lot of things well.
The six-foot-three, 195-pound Dequoy was a star team to Canada’s first team last season. The Carabins star made 37 tackles and three interceptions and accepted an invitation to play in the East-West Shrine Bowl.
Dequoy posted a sparkling 40-yard 4.35-second dash last month on Montreal’s pro day.
John, a six-foot-seven, 227 pound native of Vancouver, had 53 passes for 861 yards and 10 touchdowns last season with Simon Fraser.
Getting into a career in the NFL as an undrafted free agent is certainly not easy, but it is not impossible either. Among the UFAs to continue and profit from successful professional tenures is the Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (four Pro Bowls), Minnesota defensive lineman John Randle (137.5 sacks in 14 seasons, Pro Football Hall of Famer) and quarterback Warren Moon, who after five consecutive Gray Cups with the Edmonton Eskimos , has played 17 seasons in the NFL and is a member of the Professional Football Hall of Fame.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on April 25, 2020.