One of the greatest things that determines success in the CFL is the quality of the Canadian talent, making the annual CFL Draft of vital importance for teams.
As it stands right now, the Roughriders have the second overall pick in the draft and general manager and head coach Chris Jones said he’s fielded a few calls from teams wanting to trade him for it.
“We’ve had a lot of good offers so we’ll just have to wait,” Jones said. “We’re still gathering information about who the (teams) would pick in front of us.”
Since the Riders had the first overall pick last year they didn’t have to concern themselves with who would pick in front of them. This year with the second pick overall, Jones and his football operations team have run a variety of scenarios to get ready.
“We’ve done probably 20 mock drafts, maybe 25,” said Jones on Friday. “We’ve sat down and looked at different scenarios of the people who pick in front of us and (if they) pick a guy that we’re not expecting or whatever, which direction we would go, so I feel very prepared.”
Along with the second pick, the Roughriders hold another eight selections which can help shore up national depth.
“We’re much better than what we were a year ago, “Jones said of his Canadian talent. “We looked at last year’s starting roster at a bunch of different positions … I feel like we’re a little bit deeper at some of the positions, we still got holes to fill so we’re going to keep working on it.”
With the retirement of Chris Best and Brendon LaBatte’s status questionable, it’s possible the Roughriders could take another offensive lineman in the draft. Jones also mentioned defensive line talent as a possibility, though he declined to say which way he was leaning.
He did say however, he did not feel there were too many players in the draft that would be ready to contribute right away.
“I do see great depth in guys that are developmental that two to three years down the road could be long time CFL players.”
The draft begins at 5 p.m. Saskatchewan time and can be watched live on TSN.
Past Roughriders First Round Picks
2016: Josiah St. John (OL)
2015: Nic Demski (WR)
2014: No pick (traded to Hamilton Tigercats)
2013: Corey Watman (OL)
2012: Ben Heenan (OL)