Notes from the CFL draft

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:27 PM ET

It took them two hours to get through 16 picks, but TSNís draft show got the job done.

Commissioner Mark Cohon announcing the picks came off sounding more like an aw-shucks, golly-gee game-show host, but the panel of Rod Black, Matt Dunigan, Chris Schultz and Glenn Suitor provided more than enough commentary and analysis to keep this thing moving along nicely.

Hereís a rundown of what we liked, disliked and wished was different about the two-hour show:

First trade of the day

It was already up on the CFL.ca website for minutes and the panel teased to the first trade of what would become a busy trading day on draft day, yet the TSN folks felt it necessary to hold off for far too long on announcing Calgary and B.C. swapping three picks.

We would have understood not wanting to steal attention away from the No. 1 pick ó if that pick hadnít been out of the bag since Friday when the

Winnipeg media uncovered the fact that Henoc Muamba was on his way into Winnipeg.

From that point on, the first overall selection was a foregone conclusion, so having the panel discuss the merits of going offensive lineman over linebacker or receiver was redundant.

Meanwhile, the most impactful trade of the day was pushed to the backburner. That call didnít make a lot of sense.

Who dressed that man?

Iím going to break a sportswriterís golden rule here and actually make a fashion comment, but one we feel pretty comfortable making. Our first thought on seeing Muambaís tie was that someone in Winnipegís war room decided at the very last second to put a Bombers coloured tie on the No. 1 overall pick and didnít quite have time to tie it properly before the camera lights went on.

Then we were willing to give Muamba full marks for apparently attempting to hide the ridiculous looking tie that reached only half way down his chest, with the Bombers jersey he was presented, and more marks for getting said jersey on as quickly as possible. Turns out it wasnít a fashion faux pas but an inside joke between the Mississauga linebacker and his friends, as he explained on a conference call later in the day. Itís certainly one way to get noticed.

Nice touch

Kudos to the guy responsible for bringing CFL great Milt Stegall into the conversation when TSN interviewed Edmontonís Nathan Coehoorn. Someone at the station was aware Stegall was Coehoornís all-time favourite CFLer and then brought him on to the call as the third party. You could tell Coehoorn was thrilled getting the chance to talk to Stegall again. An otherwise run-of-the-mill phoner was spiced up.

Down on the Hammer

Good TV means speaking your mind, even if it might make you unpopular in some circles but it didnít stop Schultz, who one time, some time ago, played for Tiger-Cats GM Bob OíBillovich, in Toronto, openly questioning Obieís decision to trade down from the No. 5 spot in the draft.

Schultz commended the Eskimos for making the move up to grab Coehoorn, but questioned Hamilton trading out of the top six, which seemed to be the consensus tipping point from impact players in Year 1 to picks for the future.

Hamilton could have used the pick to grab Coehoorn or Marco Iannuzzi who went the next pick to B.C. Both are considered CFL-ready and after Dave Stalla and Matt Carter, the Tabbies are a little lean at non-import receiver.

Obie did pick up an extra pick in the deal, getting the 10th and 13th selections while sending the rights to offensive lineman Zipp Duncan to Edmonton.

Hamilton grabbed UConn centre Moe Petrus (a gamble because he could be NFL-bound after another year in college) and then got Maurice Forbes, a defensive lineman out of Concordia, who got high grades from Forde and the staff at Mississaugaís The Baseball Zone where he worked out.

Still, it was a trade that cost the Tabbies an instant difference-maker and Schultz had no problem pointing that out.

Predicting the draft

Argos coach and GM Jim Barker said it leading into the draft: You canít really predict anything about the CFL draft. Eskimos GM Eric Tillman tried when he suggested Alberta kicker Hugh OíNeill would be off the board in the next two picks after he ignored the top-ranked kicker in his own backyard to select Coehoorn. OíNeill was not only selected in the next two, kicker Brody McKnight went before he did six picks after Coehoorn was taken.

Barker then told the TSN panel he traded up to No. 7 to select offensive lineman Tyler Holmes because he felt a run on offensive linemen was just about to begin. Seven picks later, only one more offensive lineman was off the board.


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