Friday, May 8, 2015
CFL Draft Boards Could Look Different After This Weekend
CFL draft boards could look vastly different come Monday morning.
Or they could look relatively the same.
It all depends on how nearly two dozen young Canadians perform over the weekend at NFL rookie camps across the U.S.
The CFL draft goes Tuesday night, but before that many of its top prospects will be trying to prove they have what it takes to play in the NFL. And if those players get invited to NFL training camps, CFL teams will be wary to pick them high Tuesday night.
The top 15 players on the CFL Scouting Bureau’s list released last month are all taking part in NFL rookie camps this weekend. The New York Giants invited a whopping 10 of them to their camp, but are likely to sign no more than one or two, if any.
The likely reason why the Giants are so gung ho about Canadians is their assistant general manager, Kevin Abrams, hails from Toronto. New York also signed the reigning CFL offensive lineman of the year, Calgary’s Brett Jones, in February, and he will take part in this weekend’s camp as well.
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin was asked Friday if the Giants set the record for most Canadians in a mini-camp.
“We tried to set the record,” Coughlin told reporters, “and I think we got it..”
The CFL’s top prospect, Rice defensive tackle Christian Covington, was drafted by the Houston Texans last weekend, while No. 2 Brett Boyko, an offensive lineman with the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels, signed a free-agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.
No. 3 on the prospects list, UConn offensive lineman Alex Mateas, got invited to the New York Jets mini-camp that will take place this weekend as well, while Yale running back Tyler Varga, at No. 4, got an undrafted free-agent deal with the Indianapolis Colts.
After that, between No. 5 and No. 15, it’s all Giants hopefuls, with the lone exception being Manitoba Bisons receiver Nic Demski, the CFL’s ninth-ranked prospect who is attending the Cleveland Browns mini-camp this weekend.
Other Canadians who got mini-camp invitations were South Alabama quarterback Brandon Bridge (Dallas), St. Francis-Xavier linebacker Ron Omara (Giants) and Idaho defensive end Maxx Forde (Chicago).
Once the mini-camps wrap up Sunday, CFL teams will then have to quickly figure out which players impressed and which ones are destined to return north to begin their pro careers. Never have so many Canadians attended NFL rookie camps, so it could have a significant impact Tuesday.
Two other prospects, Western defensive lineman Daryl Waud and Regina Rams cornerback Tevaughn Campbell, are attending Giants mini-camp this weekend but will also get a shot with the Washington Redskins next weekend. That could cause some teams to pause before taking them.
WHO’S GOING WHERE
Plenty of top CFL prospects are taking part in NFL mini-camps this weekend and next. Here is a list, with CFL Scouting Bureau ranking in parentheses, along with their status with each team:
DT Christian Covington, Rice (1) Houston (drafted and signed by Texans)
OL Brett Boyko, UNLV (2) Philadelphia (free agent contract)
OL Alex Mateas, Connecticut (3) NY Jets (tryout)
RB Tyler Varga, Yale (4) Indianapolis (free agent contract)
OL Danny Groulx, Laval (5) NY Giants (tryout)
OL Sukh Chungh, Calgary (6) NY Giants (tryout)
DT Daryl Waud, Western (7) NY Giants/Washington (tryout)
WR Lemar Durant, Simon Fraser (8) NY Giants (tryout)
WR Nic Demski, Manitoba (9) Cleveland (tryout)
OL Sean McEwen, Calgary (10) NY Giants (tryout)
DB Chris Ackie, Wilfrid Laurier (11) NY Giants (tryout)
WR Addison Richards, Regina (12) NY Giants (tryout)
OL Jacob Ruby, Richmond (13) NY Giants (tryout)
LB Byron Archambault, Montreal (14) NY Giants (tryout)
CB Tevaughn Campbell, Regina (15) NY Giants/Washington (tryout)
QB Brandon Bridge, South Alabama (19) Dallas (tryout)
DE Maxx Forde, Idaho Chicago (tryout)
LB Ron Omara, St. FX NY Giants (tryout)