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2010 CFL Canadian Draft

by Randy Snow

Originally posted on AmericanChronicle.com, Monday, May 10, 2010


As a fan of the Canadian Football League, who happens to live in the United States, it is not always easy to keep up with what's going on across the border. Occasionally you might see a CFL transaction in the sports page of the local newspaper, but other than that, news seems to get stopped at the border, like a driver without a passport. The Internet is a big help and allows me to get the CFL information I want, whenever I want it.


Football fans in the States were glued to the recent NFL Draft, which was broadcast on both ESPN and the NFL Network in prime time last month. Sports talk radio has been bombarded with draft talk ever since the college bowl games ended in January as fans and "experts" pontificated their opinions as to which players should be drafted by their favorite teams. Following the NFL Combine in Indianapolis last February, the intensity of rhetoric on the airwaves really picked up. It all came to a climax on April 22-24 when 255 players were selected in the seven rounds of the NFL Draft.


But on Sunday, May 3, it was the CFL's turn to draft new players into the fold. There was no newspaper coverage here in the States. No mention of the first round selections or lengthy profiles of the top prospects, but I was interested in the outcome just the same. The official CFL web site had many video clips of prospective college players as well as coverage of the recent Evaluation Camp (their version of the NFL Combine) that was held in Toronto. I thought it was great seeing video of the players wearing their Canadian college football helmets during the workouts. That's something you don't get to see very often outside of Canada.


The first two rounds of the six-round CFL Canadian Draft were carried live on TSN, (Canada's equivalent to ESPN) but, unfortunately, I don't get that channel on my satellite dish. That meant that the Internet was the only way I was going to find out what happened.

The Toronto Argonauts finished the 2009 season with a 3-15 record and had the first overall selection in the draft. But just before the draft began, they traded the top pick to the Saskatchewan Roughriders for a punter and two draft picks. The Roughriders then selected linebacker Shomari Williams from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Williams played three seasons at the University of Houston and played last season at Queen's, helping lead the team to the Canadian college football national championship, known as the Vanier Cup.

In 2007, Williams created a web site called www.StudentBlitz.com, which allows high school students from Canada and the U.S. to post video highlights, stats and academic information about themselves in the hope of getting an athletic scholarship and being noticed by college football and basketball scouts in both countries.

After another trade with the British Columbia Lions, Toronto ended up with the #2 and #3 picks in the draft and selected offensive lineman Joe Eppele who played at Washington State and linebacker Cory Greenwood of Concordia, respectively.

One interesting pick in the first round was made by the Calgary Stampeders at #5 who selected punter/kicker Rob Maver from University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario. Ironically, of the 255 players selected during the NFL Draft last weekend, there were no punters or kickers selected at all! That's why I love the CFL. They know the importance of a good kicker or punter and are not afraid to go after one, even in the first round.

Another player selected this year that hit close to home for me was offensive lineman J'Michael Deane from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. He was selected in the third round by Calgary.

In all, a total of 47 players were taken in this year's CFL Canadian Draft. Some played at U.S. schools and the rest played at Canadian schools, but all 47 were Canadian citizens. The American players on CFL teams sign free agent contract to play in Canada. They are known as "imports."

The NFL has turned their annual college draft into a three-day extravaganza with live coverage of all seven rounds by not one, but two television networks. The CFL, on the other hand, simply went about the business of trying to improve their teams on the field with home-grown talent and they accomplished that in a single afternoon. While I admit that I, too, was caught up in the hoopla surrounding the NFL Draft, (my Detroit Lions had the second overall pick this year) I appreciate the CFL as well. They put out a quality product every season that is fun and exciting to watch. I have been to CFL games in Toronto and Hamilton and can tell you that their fans are very passionate about their league.

The fact that the CFL gets little or no attention from the U.S. press should not keep fans in the States from following the action north of the border. While NFL fans will have to wait until August for the first pre-season games, the CFL regular season kicks off on July 1.

If you have a computer (and you must if you are reading this article) then you have everything you need to follow the CFL. YouTube even has a great page set up just for CFL highlights. To paraphrase a recent beer commercial, "Hooray, Internet!"


www.CFL.ca - Official CFL Web Site

CFL on YouTube

Complete 2010 CFL Draft results


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