Ahead of the 2015 CFL draft, happening tomorrow (May 12th) at 8PM, TSN analyst; Duane Ford took the time to answer the media’s questions. Ford touched on several topics from specific draft prospects, to addressing several of the CFL’s teams’ specific needs. Here are the Hard-Hitting Facts from that call:
Why is the 2015 a notable draft class?
- The number 1 thing that has impacted this draft was the rule change in last year’s CBA; the draft year now coincides with the completion of a players’ draft eligibility. A lot of guys that could have potentially been drafted in 2014 have been moved to this year.
- The change in the CBA regarding nationals/internationals has deepened the CFL draft class.
- As long as a player’s citizenship is Canadian, he can qualify as a national in the eyes of the league.
- The previous rule was based on residency (eligible if player lived in Canada for at least 5 of the first 18 years of life).
Ford has several notable players on his watch-list
- Among the offensive lineman eligible for the draft, Ford consistently mentioned Alex Mateas, Danny Groulx and Suhk Chungh. Ford spoke to the immense potential with Chungh specifically.
- Chris Ackie is a very capable stand-up defender. Ford likened Ackie to last year’s breakout REDBLACKS pick; Antoine Pruneau.
- Darryl Waud shows a lot of promise to crack a CFL roster at defensive line.
- Both Lemar Durant and Nic Demski will be sought-after receivers throughout the early stages of the draft.
Reporters then shifted to asking Ford his opinion on how teams will draft:
- Montreal – Ford thinks Montreal has a relatively solid national/international ratio currently. Defensive line might be a priority as Michael Klassen looks to have secured a spot on the starting defensive line as a national. Adding depth behind him might make sense in the draft.
- Saskatchewan – With Getzlaf and Bagg always in the Roughriders’ plans, there might be a sensible decision in recruiting additional national depth at receiver.
- Ottawa – The REDBLACKS are still in the position to add general depth rather than drafting for specific needs. This might mean they pick the best overall player at each selection, leading to positions other the offensive line being priorities.
- Toronto – Ford sees a big need for an offensive lineman. Based on where they are situated, the Argos may look for Danny Groulx or Suhk Chungh.
- Winnipeg – Like Ottawa, Winnipeg is in a position to add general depth to their national roster content. Regardless, offensive line is always going to be a priority in the CFL draft.
More generally, Ford was asked how the 2 top receivers in Lemar Durant, and Nic Demski rank against one another:
- Both guys can be labelled as explosive athletes and both ran very similar 40-times (with a hundredth of a second).
- Ford gives a slight edge to Durant due to the fact that he weighs 230 pounds but still recorded a great vertical leap and 40.
Lastly, Duane was asked whether local ties between prospects and potential CFL teams matter when determining suitability:
- With all things equal, local ties make a difference.
- When determining a draft pick, you have to consider the likelihood of that player signing a second contract. A homegrown player might theoretically be more likely to play his full career with a squad close to home.