The Calgary Stampeders loaded up with talent but also looked to the future during yesterday's CFL Canadian College Draft.
With the eighth overall selection, Stampeders head coach/GM John Hufnagel picked defensive back Eric Fraser of Central Michigan.
Fraser is still recovering from a broken ankle he suffered in the finale last season but is projected to be back at full strength this fall.
But he won't join the Stamps until the 2010 training camp, at the earliest. Fraser will likely compete at the safety position but could also see himself as an outside linebacker.
"He was highly rated on our draft board," Hufnagel said of the 6-foot-1, 201-pounder.
"I'm very pleased we were able to acquire him. I like his size and athleticism.
"He can be a force on special teams. In his younger days, he was a 4.4 or 4.5 guy. He might be 4.5 or 4.6 because of the injury."
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats solidified their offensive line by taking University of Alberta product Simeon Rottier with the first-overall pick.
The Toronto Argonauts took defensive tackle Etienne Legare out of Laval with the second selection.
The B.C. Lions made the only trade on what was a quiet day in that area, sending the sixth and 13th picks to Hamilton for No. 3, which they used to select Bishop's running back Jamall Lee.
If and when Lee comes back from a stint in the NFL, the Lions will likely move him to slotback. The Lions have a need there after letting Jason Clermont go this off-season.
Before the Stamps could get their hands on him, University of Calgary Dinos offensive lineman Dylan Steenbergen was snapped up by the Montreal Alouettes at No. 7.
Steenbergen was in view of the Stamps draft room while it happened because the Dinos were in the midst of spring camp at McMahon Stadium.
"I'm going there to work my butt off and see where it takes me," Steenbergen said. "It's a job now and I will take all the steps to get where I need to be. I'm 21, turning 22 this year. I feel I've been taking the steps every year at the university level.
"I will give it my all this year and, hopefully, it works out."
With their second-round pick (16th overall), the Stamps took Wayne State linebacker Tristan Black, who will be at training camp starting June 7.
They grabbed the first of two offensive lineman with their third-round selection, taking John Hashem from the University of Regina.
Loading up in the fourth round, the Stamps took receiver Spencer Armstrong from Air Force (28th overall), offensive lineman Steve Myddelton from St. Francis Xavier (30th overall) and slotback Scott McHenry from Saskatchewan (32nd overall).
They used a fifth-round pick to take Queen's defensive lineman Osie Ukwuoma and grabbed Regina receiver John Kanaroski with their sixth-round pick.
Kanaroski is from Calgary and used to run routes for the Stamps during practices. He is also the son of assistant video director Dave Kanaroski.
The only player from the final seven picks that won't be at this year's camp is Armstrong, who has two years of military commitment left.
"We are pleased with the way the draft went," Hufnagel said. "We prioritized our needs and were able to get good people for those needs."
Steenbergen was one of three Dinos taken. The Argos took defensive back James Green with the 18th pick, while the Edmonton Eskimos grabbed linebacker Andrea Bonaventura at No. 20.
The Tiger-Cats took Cochrane product Cassidy Doneff in the sixth round. Doneff spent time with the Stamps a couple of years ago during training camp and suited up for one pre-season game.