Sunday, 8 May 2011

2011 CFL Draft (Round One)

The Picks
1) Winnipeg - Henoc Muamba, LB, St. Francis Xavier
2) Edmonton - Scott Mitchell, OL, Rice
3) Calgary - Anthony Parker, WR, Calgary
4) Winnipeg - Jade Etienne, WR, Saskatchewan
5) Edmonton - Nathan Coehoorn, WR, Calgary
6) BC - Marco Iannuzzi, WR, Harvard
7) Toronto - Tyler Holmes, OL, Tulsa
8) Montreal -Brody McKnight, K/P, Montana

My Thoughts
We've known for a few days that Henoc Muamba was likely the top pick for the Blue Bombers. Muamba can be a ratio buster (a non-import starting at an import-heavy position) and could be a difference maker for the Bombers.

The Eskies went with Scott Mitchell, eschewing conventional wisdom that they need a Receiver. O-Line depth is always high on teams' radars at draft time. Mitchell will be used to keep Ricky Ray upright and healthy, something the Eskimos failed at last season.

The Stamps moved up to draft Anthony Parker. Great move, and I agree with Duane Forde and think Parker could end up being the best player from this draft when all is said and done. Smart move by the Stamps to go get him. I was hoping he'd land in Hamilton, but I didn't expect it to happen.

The Bombers pass on Nathan Coehoorn and Marco Iannuzzi and select a different Receiver: Jade Etienne from Saskatchewan. Stunning. NFL fans will understand when I say that this situation feels very similar to what occurred during the 2009 NFL Draft when the Oakland Raiders took Darius Heyward-Bey over Michael Crabtree.

The Cats' first pick came at number five and... they traded it to the Eskimos for the 10th and 13th picks (both in round two). The Eskimos took the number five selection and grabbed Nathan Coehoorn from Calgary. The Esks let Kamau Peterson go, and Coehoorn could fill his role. The Esks also grabbed Chris Bauman in free agency, so they are stockpiling Canadians at the Receiver position.

The Lions made it four Receivers in a row by taking Marco Iannuzzi from Harvard. Rumour had it that the Lions had Iannuzzi at or near the top of their draft list, so in trading down and getting picks, BC has to be ecstatic. However, Wally Buono and the BC front office should send a basket of baked goods to Winnipeg thanking them for taking Etienne instead of Coehoorn or Iannuzzi.

Saskatchewan dealt their pick to Toronto, and the Argos selected Tyler Holmes. The Argos add O-Line depth, which is always good, but he has one year left of NCAA eligibility, and the fear of Danny Watkins (who was picked by BC last year and went in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft) clearly didn't scare off the Argonauts.

The defending two-time Grey Cup champions finish off the first round by taking a Kicker in Montana's Brody McKnight. Many, like Duane Forde, thought Hugh O'Neill was the top Kicker in the draft, so the Als passing on him seems odd. The Als needed a Kicker-Punter, but McKnight has a year of eligibility left in the NCAA, so he won't help this year. Seems like a weird pick, at least to me.

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