Lions craft draft strategy

BOB MACKIN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:22 AM ET

B.C. Lions training camp begins a month and a half from today, but May 2 is on Mike Benevides' mind.

That's when the Grey Cup champions pick last in each of the Canadian Football League draft's six rounds. (They also have Hamilton's pick to open the third round).

"I'll be more than happy to pick last in the draft. That means we did well the previous year," said Benevides, who coaches special teams and linebackers and is head coach and general manager Wally Buono's draft adviser.

Quality receivers and defensive linemen abound in this year's draft class, he said. Player development is important not only for salary cap reasons, but because it has paid dividends. Star wide receiver Paris Jackson and linebacker Javier Glatt were chosen in 2003's first and second rounds, respectively.

"You're looking for character, you're looking for someone you want to go fight with," Benevides said.

Training camp begins June 4 in Abbotsford, a day later than scheduled, because of a June 3 Grey Cup ring banquet at Coquitlam's Red Robinson Show Theatre. 


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