Lions strike early and set the tone for the CFL 2020 draft


TORONTO – In a year rich in unique circumstances, the CFL 2020 draft also found a way to stand out.

With teams, league officials and players working and watching from home, the British Columbia Lions have played a big role in making this evening memorable. They traded third to get Calgary’s first overall pick and used it on linebacker Jordan Williams. The first regional combine to finish first overall, Williams became the first linebacker to launch a draft since Winnipeg took Henoc Muamba “> Henoc Muamba in 2011. He is also the fifth linebacker to finish first in the general classification.

“I am absolutely surprised. I didn’t know there were trades happening. I thought the CFL was one to nine and that’s what you get, “said Williams about an hour after becoming a Lion.

“It’s surreal. I can’t even quantify how I’m feeling right now. “

“Watching him film, he flies around. When he gets to the ball carrier, he makes tackles, “said Lions general manager Ed Hervey.

“When you see him, he goes through tackles, he plays, his presence is felt. Running a 4.5 (second) 40, being as athletic as him … looking at his tape, we felt he was the number one choice in the overall standings. It brings a level of intensity and athleticism and we thought it was too good to pass up.

“We weren’t sure he would be there at three o’clock, so we decided to take a picture. If there were three of us, we would have been fine, but we felt like there was a chance to try it. “


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The Lions used their second round pick (15th overall) to take quarterback Nathan Rourke. The six foot two inch and 209 pounds from Oakville, Ontario. native and product of the University of Ohio has become the most drafted quarterback since Jesse Palmer, who also finished 15th overall in 2001. It would take 49 years for Bob Kraemer to be seventh overall by Winnipeg in 1971.

“I’m really glad we got it,” said Lions head coach Rick Campbell of Rourke.

“Whatever his nationality, he was a very good player at Ohio University. He is so productive and a winner and he also has very good feet. “

In three years with the Bobcats, Rourke has led the team to bowl game victories each season. He ended his career there after winning the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in December with 7,457 passing yards and 2,639 rushing yards. This versatility impressed the Lions.

“I think it brings a different dynamic to the CFL,” said Campbell.

“I will not be proclaiming anything except to say that this is a great opportunity for him to come here and have a guy like Mike Reilly to learn. Most guys who come here need time to avoid being thrown into the fire. “

True to the theme of their off-season, the Toronto Argonauts went with a local player with the second choice in total, taking Dejon Brisset from Mississauga, Ontario, from the University of Virginia. The six-foot, 195-pound receiver had a quiet fifth year in Virginia after an exceptional season with the Richmond Spiders in 2017. He had 63 receptions for a peak of 896 yards and seven touchdowns before injuring himself after three games. his senior season in 2018.

Returning to third overall, Calgary got the guy they wanted in Louisiana’s southeastern defensive end Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund. The six-foot-two, 250-pound Dartmouth, N.S. native believed he had had good conversations with the Stamps in the past month, but was still surprised to find that he would be moving from the West to Calgary.

“They really didn’t give me any indication,” said Adeyemi-Berglund about the interest of the Stamps. “Besides the fact that I had a good relationship with coaches and scouts, I thought I would be there. I’m happy with the way things have gone. “

Adeyemi-Berglund was selected for the second team at the Southland Conference in 2019, with 61 tackles, including 16 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, a recovery fumble and four pass breaks in 13 games in southeastern Louisiana. The Stamps get a productive player and an excellent, consistent student. The major pre-med was a selection of university teams in 2018 and 2019 and was entered on the academic honor roll of the conference commissioner in 2016 and 2017.

One of the surprising trends in this year’s draft is the lack of offensive liners caught early. There were four in the first round, but none in the second, making the number of linemen the lowest in two rounds since 2010.

Buffalo’s Tomas Jack-Kurdyla was the first lineman to be selected Thursday evening, finishing fourth overall in the Edmonton Eskimos. He was followed by Coulter Woodmansey of Guelph, fifth overall. After the Ottawa RED and BLACK took Laval defensive back Adam Auclair in sixth place, the Saskatchewan Roughriders took the Saskatchewan Huskies, Mattland Riley, seventh.

Having obtained an lineman in the first round, Hamilton used his second North Dakota defensive end Mason Bennett with eighth choice. The Argos closed the first round with Regina Rams offensive lineman Theren Churchill in ninth.


In last week’s NFL draft, six Canadian players were selected or signed after the draft. This pushed their names further into the CFL draft, but five of the six have always heard their names called. After signing with the Los Angeles Rams, Brown DL Michael Hoecht made his way to Ottawa with first choice in the second round. After the Montreal Carabins database, Marc-Antoine Dequoy signed with the Green Bay Packers, his former head coach, Danny Maciocia, used his first choice as general manager of the Montreal Alouettes to lead him 14th in the general classification.

Calgary used their third round pick (21st overall) on wide receiver Rysen John, who signed with the New York Giants and Montreal went a pick later and picked offensive lineman Carter O’Donnell with the 22nd choice, after the Red Deer product signed with the Indianapolis Colts.

Saskatchewan took DL Neville Gallimore finished 71st overall, just in case things didn’t work out for the Ottawa native with the Dallas Cowboys, who took him 82nd overall.

The top NFL player among the Canadians, Pittsburgh Steelers second round pick Chase Claypool, was not selected by an CFL team.


When hired as Als general manager in January, Maciocia said that drafting and / or recruiting and retaining players based in Quebec would be at the center of his concerns. In his first draft, he chose three Carabins and two Concordia Stingers from his 10 choices. Here is a breakdown:

2nd round: DB Marc-Antoine Dequoy, Montréal (14th)
2nd round: DL Cameron Lawson, Queen’s (16th)
3rd round: OL Carter O’Donnell, Alberta (22nd)
3rd round: DL Marion Beniot, Montreal (25th)
4th round: LB Brian Harleimana, Montreal (33rd)
6th round: OL Andrew Becker, Regina (49th)
6th round: LB Jersey Henry, Concordia (51st)
7th round: SB Vincent Alessandrini, Concordia (60th)
8th round: DL Brock Gowanlock, Manitoba (66th)
8th round: RB Colton Klassen, Saskatchewan (69th)


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