Maciocia playing his cards close

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:38 AM ET

Danny Maciocia is keeping his cards very close to his chest.

Although the Eskimos have the first pick in tomorrow's CFL college draft, he isn't revealing any names.

"But I can honestly say that we've got it down to a couple of guys," said the head coach.

The betting line suggests that Adam Braidwood is one of the two players on the shortlist because of the club's draft philosophy.

"It's (taking) the best player available," explained the coach, "but if we think there are a couple of guys neck and neck, then we'll take a look at the next criteria, which is need."

A powerful defensive end from a top-notch Pac 10 school, Braidwood is considered the best player in the draft pool - and Maciocia definitely sings his praises.

"He's big, physical and a high-character kid," he said of the Washington State product.

"He's the kind of kid that you want to go to war with."

Rumblings also suggest Jason Pottinger could be on the short list because the Esks could use a younger Canadian linebacker with Glen Young celebrating his 37th birthday next month.

Another possibility is Dominic Picard, the top CIS offensive lineman last year who has a long history with Maciocia.

"(Picard's) a damn good football player," said the coach.

"When I took the job at the University of Montreal (several years ago), he's one of the first guys I recruited."

Maciocia didn't stay long at the U of M, but that didn't end his association with Picard.

"He had a bout with cancer and I remember visiting him at his house," continued Maciocia.

"But it's in remission and everything is beautiful."

There's always the possibility the Esks could deal the pick before tomorrow, but don't count on it.

"I'm planning on walking into the office on Thursday," stated Maciocia, "and getting ready to pick the first player in the draft."


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