Eskimos Kean on kicker

Esks coach Danny Maciocia says first round draft pick Warren Kean is expected to eventually take...

Esks coach Danny Maciocia says first round draft pick Warren Kean is expected to eventually take over the kicking duties from Sean Fleming. (Sun File/Brendon Dlouhy)

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:22 AM ET

The Edmonton Eskimos had their eye on the foot of Warren Kean.

So much so, they figured the kicker out of Concordia University was worth taking second overall in yesterday's CFL Draft.

"I didn't think he would get through the first round," said Eskimos head coach Danny Maciocia.

"When you start even thinking about moving down in the draft in the first round, then what happens if we move down but don't get our guy?

"So it didn't make too much sense to us. So what we decided to do is we felt so strongly about this kid, that we just picked him. We knew he wouldn't be around in the second round because there was some talk out there that other teams were going to take him."

Kean, 22, a native of Dundas, Ont., played four seasons with the Concordia Stingers. Last season he connected on 20 of 32 attempts.

He's been a three-time conference all-star and was a 2005 CIS all-Canadian.

"You don't come across players like Warren Kean every year in the CFL draft," Maciocia said. "You probably get a guy like that every five to 10 years. You have to take a look at the value of a Canadian kicker, a guy that can do all three - field goals, kickoff and punt."

Sean Fleming was the last kicker the Eskimos selected in the first round of the CFL draft in 1992. Kean is expected to eventually take over the kicking duties from Fleming.

FLEMING STILL FAVOURED

"He'll push Sean at training camp, but I think Sean is still one of the better kickers out there and I don't think Warren will outseat him, "Maciocia said.

"I think this is an opportunity to have two kickers on the roster. We always talk about having depth at other positions, but that's one area that we overlooked in the last few years."

Kean knew the Eskimos were interested in him, but was a bit surprised to be taken so early in the draft.

"I'll have to admit there was a bit of jumping around after I was selected," Kean said. "I'm ecstatic. It's a team that I definitely wanted to play for, it's one of the premier teams in the league and I was really happy. Hopefully I can come in there and make a difference."

The Eskimos had four picks heading into yesterday's six-round draft.

With their second pick they selected defensive back Jason Nedd out of Akron.

The five-foot-10, 197-pound native of St. Hubert, Que., had 41 tackles last season.

"This kid will knock your head off," Maciocia said. "Don't let his size fool you. He's a physical defensive back. We view him as a free safety.

"If you sit back and watch his highlight film, he's just knocking people out to the point where there was one where he knocked himself out too."

In the fourth round, with their third pick, the Eskimos selected six-foot, 283-pound defensive tackle Michael Jean-Louis out of Laval.

Jean-Louis, 25, was Laval's rookie of the year in 2004 and finished last season with seven tackles and 2 1/2 sacks in eight games.

"It's wonderful to get drafted by Edmonton," Jean-Louis said.

"Edmonton has a great program and from what I've heard it's a great city so I'm very excited."

ESKS' FINAL PICK

Running back Calvin McCarty was the Eskimos final pick on the day. The Western Washington product started the first seven games of the season before a foot injury ended his year.

"We got four players of our top eight," said Maciocia referring to his list heading into the draft.

"I thought I'd never get Jean-Louis, Nedd and McCarty. We have an opportunity to have all four make our roster next year.

"That's huge because I didn't think (Jean-Louis and McCarty) would be around by the time we had to make our third and fourth picks."

EXTRA POINTS: U of A Golden Bears defensive lineman Patrick MacDonald was taken in the third round, 21st overall, by the Calgary Stampeders in the CFL draft. MacDonald signed a three-year deal as a free agent with the New Orleans Saints.


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