The Canadian Football League's supplemental draft of Canadian talent has just become a whole lot more interesting for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

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This article was published 25/5/2011 (3642 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The Canadian Football League's supplemental draft of Canadian talent has just become a whole lot more interesting for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Thinking last week the affair was worth nothing more than a shrug of the shoulders, the club has first seen Central Michigan receiver Kito Poblah -- dubbed a legit first-round prospect -- declared eligible for this Friday's selection of homegrown talent that didn't declare in time for the regular Canadian draft.

And now there is another prospect that has caught the club's fancy. The Bomber brass spent much of Wednesday studying film of Ole Miss defensive tackle Ted Laurent, a 6-foot, 303-pound defender who some in the league figure could be in the mix along with Don Oramasionwu to replace Doug Brown when he retires after this season.

A CFL spokesperson said Wednesday night that teams will know today whether Laurent -- a Montreal product who moved to the U.S. when he was 13 -- is eligible for the supplemental draft, but that a separate supplemental draft for his services won't be held until next week to allow clubs to further study film of the 23-year-old.

"It's unbelievable. I can certainly say this is probably the most excitement I've seen over a supplemental draft in some time," said Bomber assistant GM Ross Hodgkinson.

"You are going to have to make the assumption they are both worth first-round picks and then you decide which guy you'd give up the pick for... that's the next challenge."

The Bombers control the supplemental draft, based on last year's standings. It means they can land whichever of the two prospects they want by forfeiting a draft pick in next year's selection.

Poblah pulled in 44 passes for 558 yards in 12 games with the Chippewas last season and ran a 4.45 40 at the CMU Pro Day. But in Laurent they would get a defensive tackle that one CFL source compared to Saskatchewan Roughrider starter Keith Shologan.

Laurent made 11 starts for the Rebels last year and picked up 21 tackles, 3.5 tackles for losses while adding two sacks. He started three games in 2009 and seven in 2008 for a big-time U.S. college program.

"The question that seems to come up from an NFL standpoint is his height," said Hodgkinson. "We're in the process of reviewing more film of him now.

"If we're running on the presumption this is Doug's last year and Donny (Oramansionwu) steps in there then you're faced with depth concerns and that becomes the challenge."

HOWELL ON BOARD: The Bombers bolstered their coaching staff Wednesday with the announcement that Markus Howell, who just recently retired, will take on the role of defensive and special teams assistant.

Howell, a Winnipeg product, spent 11 years in the CFL -- six with the Bombers -- and won a Grey Cup with Calgary in 2008. He was a receiver/returner and occasional defensive back.

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca