WINNIPEG Blue Bombers GM Joe Mack says he has entertained several offers for the club's second overall pick in Monday's CFL Draft, but he is likely going to hang on to it for himself.
"You'd maybe consider (a trade) for a good Canadian player, (but) I'm reticent to trade Canadian picks. I just feel they have real value," Mack told a news conference Wednesday afternoon at Investors Group Field.
Mack also said he will be unlikely to make any trade before Monday that would have the Bombers move down in the first round.
"From our evaluation, I don't think it's a real deep draft. So we have probably four or five players at a certain level," said Mack. "To drop below that... wouldn't necessarily be as productive."
Mack said his overriding interest in this year's draft is to take a player who can help the team this season.
On the surface, that would seem to rule out the Bombers selecting any of the three top draft prospects who signed NFL deals last weekend -- defensive linemen Stefan Charles and Andy Mulumba and offensive lineman Matt Sewell.
Not so, said Mack. "We did re-evaluate after (the three players signed with NFL teams), but I don't know we're necessarily going to change our strategy," said Mack. "I think it will be a challenge for all of them anyway to make the NFL for an extended period of time. So they're still on our radar...
"The information I'm getting is most of them didn't get much, if any, signing bonuses. And that gives me something of an indication about what the NFL thinks of their prospects. I wish them the best, but we'll still consider those three guys."
It's unclear which of the three NFL free agent signees -- if any -- the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will select with their first overall pick. Sewell -- a behemoth 6-9, 340-pounder -- went to university at Hamilton's McMaster and grew up in the area, making him a seemingly logical selection for the Ticats -- at least until he signed with the NFL.
Mack said he's received contradictory reports on who Hamilton might select, but still thinks Sewell makes the most sense for the Ticats.
"I thought they were maybe going to take Sewell, but I'm hearing rumblings maybe they're going to back out of it," said Mack. "If I'm them -- and I have no idea -- I'd still consider taking Sewell. He's from that area, he's a tackle and would be a ratio changer...
"And I think, right now, it will be a challenge for (Sewell) to make the (Tennessee) Titans long term. I wouldn't be surprised if (Hamilton) still took him, although I hear that's not their intention."