Much like last year I sat patiently waiting for the Tiger-Cats to make their first selection with the anticipation growing inside me as their pick neared. The Cats were choosing at number five, and when the Blue Bombers took Jade Etienne, I was near euphoria. One of the areas I thought that Cats needed to address was Receiver, and two top prospects – Nathan Coehoorn of Calgary and Marco Iannuzzi of Havard – were both still there for the taking; the Cats had their pick of the litter (pardon the pun).
So what did the Ti-Cats do? They traded the pick!
The trade was fine – it netted the Tabbies two picks in round two – but I had once again been blocked from seeing them make a selection on TSN. You see, last year the Cats had only one pick in the first two rounds (the only two shown on TSN), and they traded that (coincidentally, also to Edmonton), so I didn't get to see the Cats make a selection at all last year.
This year, TSN streamed the final four rounds on TSN.ca, so I did get to see them make picks. But it was a bit disheartening not to see them make that first-round pick.
But I digress.
The picks the Cats did make, I like.
Adding a Receiver would have been exciting, but the Cats did need to focus on getting some depth along the Offensive and Defensive Lines.
With their first four picks, they did just that.
The Cats nabbed Offensive Lineman Moe Petrus and Defensive Lineman Maurcie Forbes in the second round, while adding Defensive Lineman Marc-Antoine Fortin and Offensive Lineman Pascal Baillargeon in the third round. You need Canadian bodies along both lines, and the Cats made a major splash by adding these four men. I am really excited about Maurice Forbes. The TSN panel, which included draft expert Duane Forde, gave the Ti-Cats glowing reviews for drafting Forbes. Coupled with the drafting of Eddie Steele in 2010 and the returning Matt Kirk, the Cats have some great Canadian building blocks along the Defensive Line.
The Cats then added Linebacker Patrick Jean-Mary and Tight End Tyrell Francisco in the fifth round. Both are great depth additions, with Francisco being especially intriguing.
Hamilton's final pick might have been their best. Going into Sunday's draft, many gave BYU Linebacker Jadon Wagner a late-first or early-second round grade. But rounds one through five came and went with no one calling his name. The Cats stopped his slide with their final pick, 44th overall. Wagner is not headed back to BYU in the fall and will be in camp in June. A player like that hardly goes unnoticed and never lasts that long. The Cats may have acquired the biggest steal in this year's draft.
With the 2011 Draft now in the rear-view mirror, it means the season is right around the corner. Camps begin in three weeks (yes, THREE WEEKS!), and the season starts in seven weeks. Don't look now, people, but the season is almost here!