The Winnipeg Blue Bombers selected Simon Fraser University centre Matthias Goossen with the second overall pick in Tuesday’s CFL Draft.
The Bombers think that Goossen (6-4, 294, Richmond, B.C.) will transition quickly to the professional game, be able to start immediately and anchor their offensive line in 2014.
Goossen was thrilled to go second overall. "It’s a huge honour that the Blue Bombers took me," Goossen said in a conference call with reporters shortly after his selection. "It’s beyond words -- it’s a dream I’ve worked for the last 15 years of my life and it’s great to see it culminate here...
"I think right now I’m just going to go to camp and work as hard as possible and just try to get better every day. And if the coaches want to put me as a starter, that’d be great. But right now, I’m just trying to get to camp and contribute to the team."
The Bombers need a centre after the man who previously held the position -- Justin Sorenson -- signed with Edmonton as a free agent during the off-season.
"He fully expects to start," said head coach Mike O’Shea. "Given his age (21)… he is a man, you see how he’s built… his film says he’s got a real good chance at (starting). But being as young as he is, I just feel there is a little bit of a difference here. We don’t want to stick him in and ruin him, get him shell-shocked and ruin his confidence. If he shows in camp what he believes he’s going to show us and what we think he can do and that’s the logical step for us, then he’ll be in there. And if he needs a bit of time then we’re quite willing to give him that to develop."
The Bombers traded away their 20th and 26th picks in the third round to Saskatchewan in order to draft McGill linebacker Jesse Briggs 17th overall in the second round. Briggs ran a 4.57 40-yard dash at the combine this winter and his stock rose dramatically during the off-season. He also has special teams experience.
The Bombers drafted Derek Jones, a defensive back from Simon Fraser, with the 29th overall pick in the fourth round. His father, Ed, won five Grey Cups with the Edmonton Eskimos.
The Bombers drafted Quinn Everett out of Mount Allison in the sixth round with the 47th overall pick. Everett is listed as a defensive lineman but has also played offensive line. If that sounds familiar, it should -- that was exactly the same situation with Chris Greaves when the Bombers drafted him in 2010, also in the sixth round.
Greaves, of course, has gone on to be a mainstay on the Bombers offensive line.
The Bombers wrapped up their 2014 CFL draft by selecting McMaster LB Aram Eisho in the 7th round with the 56th overall pick. Eisho won a Vanier Cup with the Marauders in 2011.
"Every team is going to say the same thing, that they’re very happy," said O’Shea. "We sat and looked at our board versus everybody else’s and we’re excited. We’re more than pleased and more than satisfied. We look at these names and we’re excited about these guys coming in."
"We targeted a few guys, we traded up to get a guy… it was a productive night for us," added Walters. "We’re very excited with the way we set up our draft board with the way things fell together."
The Calgary Stampeders acquired the first overall pick in an 11th hour trade with the Ottawa RedBlacks just prior to the start of the draft and used it to select the other centre the Bombers were looking at in this draft -- Laval’s Pierre Lavertu.
University of Manitoba running back Anthony Coombs was selected third overall by the Toronto Argonauts, who made a deal with Edmonton to acquire the Eskimos' third overall pick.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats selected Bisons defensive lineman Evan Gill ninth overall.
It's believed to be the first time ever two Bisons players were drafted in the first round of the CFL draft.
Meanwhile, quarterback Kevin Glenn was traded by Ottawa Tuesday night to the B.C. Lions for B.C.’s fifth overall selection.
Winnipeg had also been interested in acquiring Glenn as an insurance policy for the 2014 season but considered Ottawa’s asking price -- which at one point was Winnipeg's second overall pick -- to be too steep.