For the first time since taking office, Danny Maciocia, general manager of Alouettes, has a first pick in the Canadian Football League (CFL) draft on Tuesday evening. Recall that in the summer of 2018, his predecessor, Kavis Reed, notably sacrificed two first-round picks in exchange for Johnny Manziel.
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With his first picks in 2020 and 2021, Maciocia has selected two of his former players from the University of Montreal Carabins, safety Marc-Antoine Dequoy (14and in total in 2020) and guard Pier-Olivier Lestage (10and in 2021). Dequoy is tipped to become the starting safety in his second season with the Alouettes in 2022, while Lestage remains on the reserve team of the Seattle Seahawks.
The last time the Birds had a first-round pick, Reed selected guard Trey Rutherford with the second overall pick. It was four years ago.
Rutherford played two seasons with the Alouettes before announcing his retirement. The very first prospect selected that year, receiver Mark Chapman, had never played in the CFL. Although he failed to break through in the NFL, Chapman never joined the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
This is further proof that the CFL draw is even more risky than most other professional leagues. Like it or not, this is the reality. Teams are almost as likely to get a good player in the third or sixth round as they are in the first.
That said, the Alouettes are naturally happy with the fourth selection of the design.
On Friday, Maciocia reiterated that his team of equal talent would always choose a local player rather than a player from another province. It was a strategy Jim Popp also used at the time, but was later abandoned by Reed.
So, who are the players in the Alouettes’ field of view and who could be picked fourth overall?
The first name that comes to mind is that of Enock Makonzo, an athlete from Lachine who played his college football with the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. Makonzo, a hybrid player capable of playing as a linebacker or defensive back, was ranked eighth in the CFL Scouting Bureau’s final rankings.
Offensive lineman Cyrille Hogan-Saindon, a product of Université Laval Rouge et Or, Montreal receiver Samuel Emilus (Louisiana Tech), and defending lineman Joshua Archibald (McGill), also from Montreal, are other Quebecers who are in the early rounds of the repechage . The Alouettes have a total of eight choices.
Please note: Sport Netwerk (RDS) will broadcast the first two rounds of the second chance this Tuesday evening from 8 p.m.
A system to review?
Maciocia wants as many Quebecers as possible in the Alouettes, but it’s not that special. The Roughriders definitely prefer players from Saskatchewan, like the Lions, those from British Columbia.
“I think this is the most powerful marketing tool we have,” analyst Marshall Ferguson said Monday.
His colleague Duane Forde agrees, but feels that this reality is a double-edged sword. Since players can sign a contract with the team of their choice when their first contract in the CFL expires, contracts that are generally for two years, they often choose to go home.
“It is always positive to have local players on the team if you want to sell tickets. But I think with a salary cap there should be a limited free agent system [restricted free agency]†
“Personally, I would like players to only have full autonomy after four seasons in the league. This would give teams a better chance to draft, develop and then retain their players, rather than developing them for a other selection,” Forde said.
A more varied offer
Ford and Ferguson, two TSN analysts, are the top Canadian draft picks in the country. The two men took part in a video conference on Monday to answer questions from reporters and appear to agree on the identity of the prospect who should be the Edmonton Elks’ choice in the very first selection.
“I think Tyrell Richards will be the first choice. Rarely does a squad make such sense at the top of the draft and seem like a perfect marriage between the player’s style of play and the coaching system. †
Richards, a 6’3″, 230 lb linebacker who played at Syracuse University, would be the kind of player Chris Jones likes, who is back after a few years in the States as head coach in Edmonton, most notably as an assistant -defensive coach with the Cleveland Browns.
There was a time not too long ago when the majority of the CFL’s best prospects played on the offensive line. The nine teams on the track wanted to see at least four or even five of their seven Canadian starters play on the offensive line.
“The design was dominated by attacking linemen. For example, in 2018, seven out of nine picks in the first round were offensive linemen,” recalls Forde.
† [L’entraîneur] Mike Benevides aptly said that offensive linemen are to our draft what quarterbacks are to the NFL. †
Forde is a great defender of Canadian talent if ever there was one. According to Forde, there are quality prospects for every position in this year’s draft.
“The situation has changed in recent years. There are good Canadian players in all positions,” says Forde, who sees the group of defensive defenders as the biggest strength of this auction.
“I’ve been covering the CFL draft since 2005 and my livelihood has always been associated with the league since 1991, so for 31 years. And I can tell you that there’s always a significant jump in Canadian talent level every five or ten years. players. »