Esks have some homework

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:44 AM ET

The Edmonton Eskimos need better Canadian talent.

Unfortunately for the Green and Gold, though, the 2009 CFL Canadian draft class isn't considered to be very deep.

So, the club better make sure it makes the best possible decision on its first-round pick at the draft table before next spring's training camp.

The CFL last week released its ranking of the top 10 CIS players eligible for next year's draft.

While the list doesn't include Canadian players at United States schools, it does show where CFL scouts will be placing their eyes this fall at CIS games.

Here is the list, complete with comments from Dan McKinnon, the Esks manager of Canadian scouting.

1. SIMEON ROTTIER, OL, ALBERTA

Represented by agent Darren Gill, the U of A product is six-foot-six and 286 pounds. The CFL's Amateur Scouting Bureau, which ranked the players, compares Rottier to Chris Schultz.

McKinnon: "We have had our eye on him for a long time. Good upper body strength, he has all the attributes to play at this level."

2. MATT MORENCIE, OL, WINDSOR

Three inches shorter than Rottier. Compared to Quebec football legend Pierre Vercheval.

McKinnon: "Matt plays left tackle. He needs some experience. Very athletic - played baseball and other sports. I think he can play a couple of positions in the Canadian Football League."

3. JAMALL LEE, RB, BISHOP'S

In four games this season he has 724 rushing yards for 181 average yards per game. He has eight rushing touchdowns.

McKinnon: "He is dominating in the East. He is a big, tall running back (six-foot-one, 215 pounds). I still need to see more of him in pass-protection mode. He's a work in progress."

4. SCOTT MCHENRY, SB, SASK.

Averaging 14.85 yards per catch this season in Saskatoon.

McKinnon: "I have watched him for the last few years. Good hands, fearless across the middle."

5. ETIENNE LEGARE, DL, LAVAL

At six-foot-four and 265 pounds, he could be a player the Esks key on in the draft because of their need for non-import help on the D-line.

McKinnon: "Big, strong and dominates quite a bit in his conference. I watched him play against Concordia (last week). He can definitely play at this level."

6. MATT CARTER, SB, ACADIA

Ranked third in Atlantic Canada in receiving with 215 yards over four games.

McKinnon: "I worked with him and McHenry at the East-West Bowl. Good potential. We will have a good look at (him) at the combine."

7. STEVE MYDDELTON, OL, ST. FX

Compared to former Winnipeg Blue Bomber Brett McNeil.

8. DYLAN STEENBERGEN, OL, CGY

Tips the scales at 285 pounds, four less than Myddelton. Compared to Lloyd Fairbanks.

McKinnon (commenting on Myddelton and Steenbergen): "Two good offensive linemen. I have watched them progress. They are doing a good job (in their conference). But I need to see more."

9. MIKE CORNELL, LB, OTTAWA

Don Moen is the name that comes to mind when scouts look at this six-foot-two product from the Canadian capital.

McKinnon: "A little bit undersized for a linebacker spot, but he plays big. He's quick, hard-hitting."

10. OSIE UKWUOMA, DL, QUEEN'S

Two inches shorter and 20 pounds lighter than Legare. He is compared to former Eskimo Leroy Blugh.

McKinnon: "I would say he's an interior lineman (possibility). We have had our eyes on him for a little while."


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