Great 8 CFL draft prospects

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:04 AM ET

The 2010 Canadian Football League draft class is deep, but not without some intriguing subplots.

“There’s no consensus No. 1 guy, someone who stands out above everyone else,” TSN draft guru Duane Forde said. “You have a class that is deep overall, and though there might not be an immediate impact from a lot of these players, you will have guys in late rounds who come into camp and compete for spots.”

Throwing a monkey wrench into the draft plans of each of the eight CFL teams is the fact that so many eligible players either will spend the weekend attending NFL mini-camps or have another year of NCAA eligibility remaining. Teams might not want to take a chance on players with high picks, meaning that others who might have been taken later will move up. A good example would be offensive tackle Joe Eppele, who is a top-notch prospect but nonetheless is aided by the fact that four other linemen have the NFL in their thoughts. Eppele is expected to go second overall, if not first to the Argonauts.

Argos head coach Jim Barker, who is manning the club’s draft table, concurred that the talent pool is deep, no matter what interference the NFL runs.

“There’s interest in trading picks in the fourth and fifth rounds, and when you have teams talking about that, it speaks to the depth of the draft,” Barker said.

1. Shomari Williams

DE/LB, Queen’s

BORN: March 8, 1985, Brampton

HEIGHT: 6-foot-2

WEIGHT: 236 pounds

SKINNY: Most teams in the CFL have Williams going No. 1 ... Key contributor in Vanier Cup run for Queen’s after three years at the University of Houston ... Has acute business savvy off the field and already owns a successful on-line recruiting business.

FORDE’S TAKE: “He’s very athletic and has lots of experience at a high level. An all-around athlete who is as smart off the field as he is on.”

2. Joe Eppele

OT, Washington State

BORN: Dec. 8, 1987, Vancouver

HEIGHT: 6-foot-8, 306 pounds

SKINNY: He’s bound to be picked second by Saskatchewan, if the Argos don’t take him first ... Has an advantage over other linemen who are draft eligible, in that he is done school ... Huge specimen, and it’s all muscle.

FORDE’S TAKE: “Physically impressive and well-proportioned. Not necessarily the best offensive lineman available but has the best guarantee of being in camp.”

3. Cory Greenwood

LB, Concordia

BORN: In Kingston, Ont.

HEIGHT: 6-foot-2

WEIGHT: 219 pounds

SKINNY: Drew interest from Kansas City after the NFL draft ... Was named 2009 most outstanding defensive player in the CIS ... Ran 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the CFL combine in March.

FORDE’S TAKE: “As athletic a linebacker, Canadian or American, that you will find in the CFL. Fast, good instincts. Should be a top three or four pick.”

4. Danny Watkins

OL, Baylor

BORN: Nov. 11, 1984,

Kelowna, B.C.

HEIGHT: 6-foot-4

WEIGHT: 310 pounds

SKINNY: Because he has another year of school left, probably will slip to latter stage of first round ... Has served as a firefighter since high school and has played just three years of organized football ... Replaced Jason Smith at Baylor after Smith was drafted by St. Louis.

FORDE’S TAKE: “The best player in this draft. Could step in and start immediately at left tackle. Plays with a mean streak.”

5. Shawn Gore

WR, Bishop’s

BORN: April 12, 1987, Toronto

HEIGHT: Six feet

WEIGHT: 198 pounds

SKINNY: Invited to Green Bay’s mini-camp but that should not affect draft position ... Some think he would be a good fit for the Lions at the No. 3 spot ... Top player at the CFL combine in March.

FORDE’S TAKE: “Probably the best all-around receiver available. Bright, likeable kid who is among the best interviews (for teams) in this draft class.

6. John Bender

OG, Nevada

BORN: March 9, 1987,

Cochrane, Alta.

HEIGHT: 6-foot-8

WEIGHT: 325 pounds

SKINNY: Probably the diciest pick in the draft, as he is expected to be a 2011 NFL pick after his final year at Nevada ... Didn’t attend CFL combine in March ... Based on talent alone, Bender would have a true shot at No. 1 if not for his NFL aspirations.

FORDE’S TAKE: “The NFL talk will make teams hesitate a little bit. He’s tall for a guard, and that may be a concern, but he is very good run-blocker.”

7. Rob Maver

P/K, Guelph

BORN: March 12, 1986,

Brampton, Ont.

HEIGHT: 5-foot-11

WEIGHT: 212 pounds

SKINNY: Only kicker to be ranked in top-15 prospects by CFL’s scouting bureau ... There was some debate as to whether he would crack first round, but could go to Calgary at No. 5 ... Great punter, but kicking field goals is not a problem either.

FORDE’S TAKE: “An excellent kicking prospect who should be a pivotal guy in the draft. You have a number of teams (Toronto, Hamilton, Calgary) who need a punter or a kicker. He will be intriguing to watch.”

8. Steven Turner

WR, Bishop’s

BORN: Jan. 18, 1987,

Brampton, Ont.

HEIGHT: 5-foot-8

WEIGHT: 176 pounds

SKINNY: Plenty of talent, but is unlikely to sneak into the first round ... Set 40-yard dash record at CFL combine with time of 4.31 seconds ... Invited to Chicago Bears’ mini-camp.

FORDE’S TAKE: “Athletically, he is a complete freak. His calling card is his speed. The question is where he fits in on a CFL roster.”


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