Blue Bomber Report Record: 6–11–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

CFL's draft class of 2014

Two Bisons ranked in top eight; Bombers have second pick overall

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The CFL Scouting Bureau on Tuesday released its final rankings in advance of next month's 2014 CFL Draft. Those rankings are of particular interest this year to fans of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who will draft second overall next month after the expansion Ottawa Redblacks, who get the first pick. Here's a look at the top 15 prospects in this year's draft class:

 

The Top 3

1 -- Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, OL, McGill, Saint-Hilaire, Que.

A fantastic player whose name has never been anywhere but the top spot in the 2014 rankings. He's almost certainly bound for the NFL somewhere next season. Whether he sticks down south or not remains to be seen, but it's highly unlikely any team will risk an early pick on a player with legitimate four-down aspirations.

 

2 -- David Foucault, OL, Université de Montréal, LaSalle, Que.

He's a proven tackle, which makes him a ratio changer, and he is an absolute monster of a man at 6-8, 320. If there's any question mark, it's simply because he has also attracted some NFL interest, taking part in a recent super-regional combine and sitting down with some NFL teams afterward. "I got good feedback from some NFL teams who wanted to see my film and talk to my agents," Foucault told reporters during a conference call Tuesday. "I want to take a chance to go to the NFL. I want to try."

 

3 -- Pierre Lavertu, OL, Laval, Quebec City

If you're looking for a centre who could start immediately -- and the Bombers are -- then TSN analyst and draft guru Duane Forde says either Lavertu, who started at centre all four years at Laval, or Simon Fraser's Matthias Goossen are your guys.

"Lavertu has been all-conference in a very competitive conference from Day 1 and has been all-Canadian the last three years. And so in that sense, you have a guy in terms of his resumé and his ability who is ready to play," Forde said.

"And they do a great job of producing offensive linemen at Laval, probably better than anything else."

 

The locals

6 -- Evan Gill, DL, Manitoba, Winnipeg

Bombers head coach Mike O'Shea believes Gill could be a rookie starter in the CFL. "Evan Gill is big and strong and a physically very talented defensive lineman who we believe could come in and start right away for a number of CFL teams," O'Shea said.

 

8 -- Anthony Coombs, RB, Manitoba, Winnipeg

Coombs had a strong combine and has already been likened in style and substance to B.C.'s Andrew Harris -- another fleet and agile Winnipegger who can run the football. But also like Harris, Coombs seems destined to end up elsewhere. There's no way the Bombers will use a second overall pick to select him and he'll be long gone by the time the Bombers draft again in the third round.

The wild card

4 -- Quinn Smith, DL, Concordia, Scarborough, Ont.

Smith was unranked all season long only to vault all the way to the fourth spot in the final rankings after a monster combine. While he's listed as a defensive lineman, he's also played as an OL and the Bombers have great experience with that kind of player, having also drafted Chris Greaves as a DL in 2010 and then turned him into a mainstay on the offensive line.

O'Shea gushes about a 300-pound man who blistered 40 yards in 4.8 seconds at the combine. "That opens people's eyes when a guy that large moves down the field that quickly," said O'Shea. "And then he followed it up with some pretty fantastic one-on-ones, where he showed his power, his quickness and his strength because he's strong, too.

"And then he flipped over and played some offensive line and fared pretty well... He's a worker. And he was a good interview. There's really nothing not to like about the guy."

Said Smith: "Defensive tackle is my natural position... but if a team drafted me and wanted me to play offensive line, I'd have no problem with that."


The rest

5 -- Devon Bailey, WR, St. Francis Xavier, Mississauga, Ont.

7 -- Dylan Ainsworth, DL, Western, Delta, B.C.

9 -- Matthias Goossen, OL, Simon Fraser, Richmond, B.C.

10 -- Andrew Lue, DB, Queen's, Markham, Ont.

11 -- Adam Thibault, DB, Laval, Quebec City

12 -- Casey Chin, LB, Simon Fraser, Port Moody, B.C.

13 -- David Menard, DL, Université de Montréal, Chicoutimi, Que.

14 -- Antoine Pruneau, DB, Université de Montréal, Montreal

15 -- Beau Landry, LB, Western, Kitchener, Ont.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 23, 2014 D4

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