March 4, 2012
Riders' lips are sealed before draft
By Frank Zicarelli, QMI Agency
TORONTO - To hear Brendan Taman tell it, the Saskatchewan Roughriders are prepared to wait until the very last minute before showing their hand on draft day.
Naturally, it’s their prerogative and in reality it’s the best approach to take when a team has the first-overall pick and no player seems like a consensus choice.
At the same time, the GM of the Roughriders does not want to make it a habit of having the first selection.
“We’ll go through the process and see where it goes,’’ Taman said on Sunday as the CFL’s three-day evaluation camp wrapped up in Toronto.
In a market dripping with Rider pride, the sentimental choice among fans would be Ben Heenan, an offensive lineman who played his university football at Saskatchewan.
There’s always the possibility of a trade, a route Taman took when Saskatchewan moved up to the first slot two years ago to select defensive lineman Shomari Williams.
For Taman and the Roughriders, the CFL’s e-camp provided yet another tool as the team, and every other team for that matter, prepares for next month’s draft.
“When you have the No. 1 draft slot, everyone is saying: ‘Who you picking? Who you picking?’
“Until our staff (led by director of player personnel Craig Smith) and myself decide on that, we honestly don’t know.”
Taman saw the free-agent departure of Andy Fantuz to Hamilton, but he addressed the team’s offensive line by enticing Brendon LaBatte (Winnipeg) and Dominic Picard (Toronto) to Regina.
Recently, Taman inked former Heisman Trophy finalist Colt Brennan and Drew Willy, quarterbacks who are expected to battle for the backup role to incumbent Darian Durant.
Willy played at the University of Buffalo, a program where Turner Gill, who played the quarterback position in Montreal, serves as head coach and Danny Barrett, who once coached in Regina, is an assistant.