WHICH IS NO. 2?: Here’s what the Ottawa Redblacks could do in Tuesday’s CFL Draft

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Although it has been heavily speculated that the Edmonton Elks will take linebacker Tyrell Richards (Syracuse) with the first overall pick in Tuesday’s CFL Draft, the Ottawa Redblacks have decided who they will take second. rank.

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Assuming Richards isn’t in play, the Redblacks’ wishlist would include a few receivers (twin brothers Jalen and Tyson Philpot), defensive back Enock Makonzo (Coastal Carolina), defensive lineman Deionte Knight (Western) and some offensive linemen (one of them could be Zack Pelehos from uOttawa).

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Whatever happens to No. 1, the Rouge et Noir, which has nine draft picks (8 p.m. tee time, TSN), will adjust. The latest CFL Central Scouting standings had Alabama wide receiver John Metchie at No. 1, with Ottawa linebacker Jesse Luketa (Penn State) at No. 2. Metchie was a second-round pick of the Houston Texans in last week’s NFL Draft, while Luketa went to the seventh round in Arizona. Because both are expected to have long NFL careers, no CFL team will use a first draft pick on either.

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“All teams try to predict what’s going to happen in front of you,” Redblacks general manager Shawn Burke said Monday. “You have to have all kinds of plans in place. We have our board in place; Obviously, there are a few talented NFL picks at the top of the roster — they won’t be picked at the top of the draft, so you kind of work your roster from there. If the guy we rated at the top of our board is selected, you move on to the next guy. The philosophy is that we try to add the best talent available. We are well placed; we had a lot of internal discussions and did a lot of homework. We feel very prepared and ready for (Tuesday) evening.

In their first draft (2013), the Rouge et Noir hit hard in the first round with offensive lineman Nolan MacMillan. Then, in 2014, they nabbed another terrific starter in defensive back Antoine Pruneau.

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Over a span of five years – 2015-19 – the Redblacks took an offensive lineman every time. In order, it was Alex Mateas, Jason Lauzon-Seguin, Evan Johnson, Mark Korte and Alex Fontana. In 2020, it was linebacker Adam Auclair. The Redblacks’ first two picks a year ago — linebacker Deshawn Stevens (sixth overall) and second-round defensive back Alonzo Addae could be in Ottawa this season, but that’s not certain. The Redblacks are still talking to Stevens, while Addae has an invite to an Arizona Cardinals mini-rookie camp. A year ago, the Rouge et Noir also beat bettor Jake Julien (Eastern Michigan) in the fourth round. Julien signed with the New England Patriots a few days ago.

“We always see the draft as a process; it’s a big leap to go from college to professional,” Burke said. “I expect them to come and compete. You hope that among your top picks, they have an avenue to start at some point. But I’m not insisting that you’re going to recruit a guy who can start on day one.

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While the NFL Draft is a live event full of bells and whistles — blanketed in three days of TV coverage and plenty of hype before and after — the CFL Draft is much more low-key, conducted in Toronto with the teams working remotely.

“Draft day is always an exciting day,” Burke said. “Collectively, it’s a bunch of groups within the organization working together, with (Canada’s director of scouting and analytics) Chad Hudson being the captain of the project. The draft gives you the base of your team. If you’re strong in the draft, you’ll usually have a strong team. You can never judge the draft an hour after it’s done or the day after it’s done. It’s in a few years. »

The CFL World Draft will also take place on Tuesday (three rounds starting at noon) — the first time it’s been combined with the regular draft. In a random selection, the Redblacks are eighth. With the order reversed in the second round, the Rougenoirs will once again be 11th.

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“We did our homework on that, we put our board together,” Burke said. “It’s less laborious with just three laps. I don’t necessarily think all the guys drafted will be in camp. The depth of talent around the world is growing at the NCAA level, but the first league they face is the NFL. It’s still a work in progress. Rome was not built in a day. I think you will see the product continue to improve.
CFL rookie camps begin May 11 and training camps begin May 15. Practices for the Rougenoirs camp are expected to run from 8:45 a.m. to noon.

Ottawa will play its first pre-season game on May 27, at home against the Toronto Argonauts. In the past two weeks, quarterback Duck Hodges and defensive lineman Trevor McSwain announced they were retiring from football. A year ago, the Redblacks lost defensive back Corey Tindal, wide receivers Brad Sinopoli and Jalen Saunders and Mateas – all of whom announced they would retire in the weeks and days leading up to camp.

“Hopefully surprises are few,” Burke said. “I think there’s a lot of enthusiasm within our organization to come to camp, get to work and work on gelling as a team. »
With defensive line coach Carey Bailey leaving due to a family commitment, the Redblacks announced last week that they had added longtime NFL coach Mike Phair and defensive assistant Paul Eddy Saint-Vilien, who has spent the past four years with the Carleton Ravens, most recently as interim head coach and defensive coordinator.

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