Stamp of approval?

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:41 AM ET

The good thing about choosing third overall in the CFL Canadian college draft is the Calgary Stampeders know they will nab a very good player.

The bad thing is knowing the player they really covet could very well be gone when the time comes.

After three top-end talents were signed by NFL teams in the last few days, it won't be until the second player is chosen in today's draft that the Stamps will truly know who to call their newest man.

"We have a really good idea of what we'll do and did a couple of mock drafts with coaches studying the other teams and trying to figure out who they'll take," said Jim Barker, vice-president and player personnel director. "By the time (the draft) comes, we think it'll be sorted out."

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have the first choice in today's affair that begins at 10 a.m., followed by the Edmonton Eskimos and then the Stamps, who have all six of their choices in the six-round draft.

With the Stamps' need for offensive linemen, the home-run choice would appear to be Dimitri Tsoumpas, a 6-ft.-4, 305-lb. four-year starter from Weber State.

Then again, they believe plenty of offensive line candidates will be available when their second-round choice rolls around, so maybe the Stamps will look at taking a skill position player.

On top of being a draft filled with excellent potential along the offensive line, this year's crop includes high-end receivers in Samuel Giguere -- who signed a free-agent contract with the NFL's Indianapolis Colts -- and Mike Bradwell. The prospects also include a prototypical fullback in Calgarian Rolly Lumbala (who inked a deal with the Miami Dolphins), a stud defensive lineman in Keith Shologan (signed by the San Diego Chargers) and a potential star safety in Dylan Barker, whose stock appears to be rising by the second.

"You look at the draft and it's deep in O-line, so if you're going to take a guy who's a free safety or wide receiver, you might take him early because the drop-off between number one and number two (at that position) is greater," Barker said. "With offensive linemen this year, there are 10 to 12 that have a chance of playing in the CFL for an extended period.

"We have the 11th pick, and we have 12 linemen we like, so we have a chance to get a player we really like."

Think you know what the Stamps will do? Barker won't divulge much information, other than to say how excited he is about the prospects.

"There are a couple of players as good as any player who's come along in this league in a while," he said.

But those players may be south of the border for a long spell, and teams can't afford to waste too many picks.

Then again, the Stampeders have shown a willingness to take players with NFL opportunities, and it's paid off.

"It's hard to say how long they'll be in the NFL," Barker said. "Take a guy like Lumbala. We might see him in three years. We might see him in five years. We may never see him at all, but that's the risk.

"Then again, we could see him in one year or we could see him in September. That's what makes the CFL draft so -- I guess the word would be -- volatile.

"A lot of it comes down to philosophy. For us, getting the highest-quality player is our number-one priority. If that means we have to wait a bit, then we'll have to wait for him."

A pair of Calgary Dinos -- offensive lineman Mark Dewit and linebacker Chase Moore -- are among those hoping their names will be called.


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