Lions sign three draft picks

BOB MACKIN -- 24 Hours Vancouver

, Last Updated: 7:23 AM ET

A trio of draftees blew into the B.C. Lions' den yesterday.

Head coach and general manager Wally Buono inked a pair of 2006 first round picks and the club's top 2005 selection.

McMaster linebacker Jason Pottinger, chosen second overall in the April 20 Canadian Football League draft, and Simon Fraser offensive lineman Steven Valli, sixth overall, will be at rookie camp in Abbotsford May 18. So will Quebec-born Kentucky fullback Alexis Bwenge, last year's eighth overall pick.

"We wanted to get younger, get bigger and more athletic," Buono said.

Rick Foley, a York University defensive lineman and outside linebacker, is the sole holdout. B.C.'s fourth overall choice is trying for a free agent contract with the National Football League's Baltimore Ravens.

Pottinger is a two-time Ontario University Athletics' defensive player of the year.

Valli was a Canada West all-star in 2005 and has a simple goal: To make the Lions' active roster as a rookie.

Bwenge had 835 career yards on 207 carries with eight touchdowns. He also caught 28 passes for 259 yards and scored four touchdowns.


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