This week officially has me excited for CFL Football to return: Tuesday’s draft will bring 70 more players to the league and Thursday’s jersey unveil has me ready to open my wallet. I just can’t wait to see the new uniforms on the field!
• Josiah St. John out of Oklahoma was drafted number one overall by the Saskatchewan Roughriders to kick off Tuesday’s draft. The Riders also drafted the most hyped prospect in David Onyemata in the fourth round. How does “the most hyped prospect” go 35th overall? Well, Onyemata was a fourth-round pick by the New Orleans Saints in the NFL draft, and while he had 50 tackles and five sacks in his final season with the University of Manitoba, he may never see a snap in Canada. It’s one of the unique aspects of the CFL draft. Who’s willing to take the risk on players you may never use?
• Onyemata isn’t the only draft pick on Tuesday that may never play in Canada: Tevaun Smith (8th overall, Edmonton) has a deal with the Indianapolis Colts, Arjen Colquhoun (17th overall, Edmonton), has a deal with the Dallas Cowboys, and Elie Bouka (24th overall, Saskatchewan) has a deal with the Arizona Cardinals.
• Alex Singleton (6th overall, Calgary) fell down the draft board slightly because he was offered a contract by the New England Patriots. Jon Hufnagel projects Singleton as a starting middle linebacker in this league – so there’s Calgary’s long-term replacement for Juwan Simpson.
• Laval University continues to be a *factory* for offensive linemen. Three picks in the first round were from Laval (all offensive linemen) and that ties the University of Calgary with the most first-round selections from a single school. Remember that offensive linemen Karl Lavoie and Danny Groulx were both drafted in the first round last year. An absolute dynasty.
• CIS Football continues to improve, too. 53 players from the CIS were selected on Tuesday, the second most of all-time.
• If you’re a numbers person, Mark Fulton breaks down the CFL Draft like no one else.
• Former McMaster Marauder and current TSN broadcaster Marshall Ferguson graded every team’s draft and talked about more players in depth here [Link: http://www.marshallferguson.com/#!2016-CFL-Draft-Grades/xyec8/573340900cf284cf213f5926]. Now we just need to see these kids play!
• I enjoyed watching the first round of the draft on TSN. I hope that they can utilize all five of their channels and broadcast the entire thing in the future.
• Jeff Fuller has been released by the Seattle Seahawks. Could we be seeing him back with Calgary this season? Fuller has 619 yards in 14 games with the Stampeders in 2015.
• Eric Norwood is a Saskatchewan Roughrider.
The TiCats had to choose two out of three from among John Chick, Justin Hickman, and Eric Norwood. Chris Jones and the Riders say “thank you” and cross their fingers that he can stay healthy in 2016.
• I think the Tiger-Cats produced one of the best stories of the CFL draft. Mercer Timmis was drafted in the second round following the footsteps of his great-grandfather Brian Timmis, who played for the Hamilton *Tigers* in the 1920s and 30s and was named to the inaugural class of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. Timmis has been invited to Carolina Panthers mini-camp so we’ll see how that shakes out for the young man.
• What the heck is going on with Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne? Anyone else surprised Sharon has lasted this long?
• I had no idea caffeine withdrawal was an *actual* thing. Well, it is. I’ve been off caffeine since Monday and it absolutely sucks. Tuesday and Wednesday were horrible with splitting headaches throughout the day. I may have already made it through the worst part!
• As much as we can talk about the draft and the actual players that will be on the field at the end of May, the big talk this week was what those players would be wearing. The new uniforms are here!
• Fresh, modern, and clean. I must admit that I went into Thursday being kind of nervous about what we were going to see. The only team that underwent a major makeover was BC and let’s just say it’s got people talking…
Kicking myself for buying a jersey at the year end sale, but absolutely LOVE the new #BCLions unis/helmets!— Jordan Ortillan (@JOrtillan) May 12, 2016
Ughh...a great uniform but why the logo on the back....throws the whole look off. I hope they change that and quick. #BCLions— BC Lions Den (@BCLionsDen) May 12, 2016
Not really a fan of the new #BCLions jerseys. Way too plain, boring, unimaginative, etc. etc.— Alexander (@Al_SportsLover) May 12, 2016
• Most of the teams’ away jerseys have a very retro feel to them. I don’t think that’s a bad thing either.
• The RedBlacks have “#RNation” on their pants. Some see it as tacky but the team is marketing it as a tribute to their fans and those fans *rocked* last season. It looks like Rider Nation has some competition.
• Bomber fans have been stuck in a dark purgatory since their last Grey Cup Championship in 1990 but could this off-season be the turning point? They’ve had a dynamite off-season and they’re finally going back to their popular royal blue jerseys…but wait. Jersey sales are delayed. That’s so “Bombers”. (Can we make that a thing?)
• I do wish the Riders would ditch the green pants for their home uniforms. The “dill pickle” look is *okay* but it could be much better if they went to the white pants.
• SJ Green tricked us! Montreal’s uniforms weren’t all that different at all. Calgary tinkered a bit with their helmets and “Outlaw” font but Montreal, Hamilton, Edmonton, Saskatchewan and Toronto only had minor changes from Adidas. Time to get out that credit card!
We are just over three weeks from seeing this year’s draft class and new uniforms hit the field for training camp. While fashion is nice, it was sad to see these talented Canadian players get overlooked for some new threads.
I loved seeing “draft parties” popping up all around the CFL while we had the first round live on TSN. I hope this is the first step of a long process to get more coverage on the CIS and the Canadian players gearing up to play professional football in Canada. Jerseys are nice but having players to wear them is better…
– written by Travis Currah