Stamps find replacement for DeAngelis

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:42 AM ET

Rob Maver has one important cleat to fill, plus the pressure that comes with being a first-round draft pick.

But the newest Calgary Stampeders kicker is too excited to worry about such outside forces.

The Stamps may have found their replacement for Sandro DeAngelis, and the 24-year-old from Guelph isn't lacking in confidence.

Not only is DeAngelis, who left for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats through free-agency, the most accurate kicker in CFL history, but the first round hasn't been kind to kickers in the past.

Maver isn't phased.

The last kicker selected in the opening round was Warren Kean by the Edmonton Eskimos (2007).

It didn't work out, and Kean signed last week to battle with Maver for DeAngelis' former job.

"I'm not going to come into Calgary and replace Sandro DeAngelis," Maver said.

"I'm coming in to do the same job he can do. It's my goal to do as well as he did, and I will work my butt off to do as well as he did.

"You shouldn't put pressure on yourself about where you get picked. It wouldn't matter if I signed as a free agent or was a first-round pick, it's my job to make every kick.

"I don't put that pressure on myself, but I put those expectations on myself.

"Being in the first round, I don't buy into the pressure. As far as being a pro placekicker, there is pressure, but I'm thrilled to be in that position."

The Toronto Argonauts made the splash of the first round, despite trading the first overall pick to Saskatchewan, which took Queen's linebacker Shomari Williams.

The Argos then took Washington State offensive lineman Joe Eppele and Concordia linebacker Cory Greenwood with the second and third picks, while B.C. took Baylor offensive lineman Danny Watkins with the fourth pick.

Both Eppele and Greenwood should play in the CFL this season with the Argos, and Stampeders head coach/GM John Hufnagel would have liked to take either with his pick.

That wasn't an option, and he went with the best player available.

"There were some picks taken before us ... if they were available, I would have taken them," Hufnagel said.

"There were two other teams that coveted Maver also, and he would not have been available with our second pick.

"Rob's stats over the three years showed improvement each and every year. He was a 93% field-goal kicker and had a 41-yard average on punts. I look forward to having him in camp and seeing where he stacks up."

With his second-round pick, Hufnagel took Wilfrid Laurier defensive back Taurean Allen, who could be an important player this season.

The Stamps are contemplating using a defensive back spot as a Canadian, and Allen would provide depth behind veteran Wes Lysack and last year's first-rounder Eric Fraser.

The next two picks were spent on offensive linemen of the future, with Nevada's John Bender (17th overall) and Michigan State's J'Michael Deane (21st overall). Neither will be with the team until at least next season.

In the fifth round, the Stamps took linebacker Karl McCartney of St. Mary's (37th overall), while offensive lineman Oamo Culbreath of UBC was selected in the sixth round (46th overall).

"I'm pleased with the overall outcome of the draft," Hufnagel said. "We have two players to help us defensively. We got three offensive lineman and a kicker that will compete for the spot."


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