The 2010 CFL Draft began somewhat disappointingly for the me. With TSN covering only the first two rounds, I would only get to see the Ti-Cats make one selection, in the second round, 12th overall. Then as the Tabbies were "on the clock" what do they do? They deal the pick to Edmonton, denying Ti-Cat fans around the world the opportunity to see the team make a selection.
That may be the only disappointing thing about Sunday's draft in regards to the Tabbies. Losing out on Rob Maver sucked, but no matter what the team did they were never going to get him. The first four picks we swapped, and Maver went off the board to Calgary at #5. The only real deal that was in place was a trade with Winnipeg that would have given Hamilton the #6 pick. Still wouldn't have been enough.
Not getting Maver was made up for with the selections the Ti-Cats did make. We addressed our Punter need later on by taking Saint Mary's Justin Palardy in the fifth round. Palardy can come in right away, which means the team is likely to bid adieu to Jeremy Ito.
The Cats' first pick on Sunday was for Laval RB Samuel Fornier. Fornier will play FB for the Tiger-Cats, paving the way for DeAndra' Cobb and Kenton Keith. Last season, John Williams was the de facto FB, but he became a free agent this winter and was not re-signed. Grabbing Fornier means that Williams definitely won't be back.
Defensive Back Chris Rwabukamba won't be in Hamilton for at least another year, since he still has one more season of eligibility left at Duke. Last year, the Cats chose Ryan Hinds of New Hampshire, also a DB, despite him having on year left in the NCAA. Just last week, Hinds signed a contract with the Cats. Should Rwabukamba not go to the NFL, he and Hinds could become big-time ratio busters at Cornerback. Corner is mostly an American position in the CFL, so to be able to have one Canadian starting in that part of the secondary would allow the team to use an American at another position.
My absolute, 100% favourite pick for the Cats was University of Manitoba Defensive Lineman Eddie Steele. One of the areas I was secretly hoping the Cats would address was the Defensive Line. Don't get me wrong, I love Garrett McIntyre, Justin Hickman, Khari Long, Matt Kirk, Demonte' Bolden, Darrell Adams and Jeremaine Reid, but only Reid and Kirk are Canadians, and the Cats needed more Canadians in the D-line rotation than just those two. Eddie Steele fills that need. He can come in and contribute immediately, and I expect big things out of Steele in the coming years.
Overall, I like what the Cats did on Sunday. Missing out on Maver and not be able to see the Cats select anyone on TSN was a bit disheartening, but seeing the four players the Cats did get makes up for it. I know that no one leaves the draft unhappy with their selections, and as much as the Cats could be sitting on four potential superstars, these players may also turn out to be colossal busts. Right now, it seems as if the team left the draft with four quality players that can contribute now and in the future. The Cats also filled some of the glaring needs they had by taking Steele and Palardy. All that is left is to address Kick Returner (which I assume will be done through free agency prior to camp), and the team should be poised for big things in 2010.
With the draft over and done with, all that is left is training camp and the pre-season before the bullets fly for real. It's time to get pumped. The unofficial start of the 2010 CFL season (as Marc Cohon said today on TSN) has come and gone; before we know it, the official start of the CFL season will be upon us.