Draft-day options

Eskimos head coach Danny Maciocia believes he's 95% sure who he will take with the second-overall...

Eskimos head coach Danny Maciocia believes he's 95% sure who he will take with the second-overall pick in tomorrow's draft. SUN MEDIA/Darryl Dyck

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:00 AM ET

So many questions and so few answers.

The Edmonton Eskimos have the second-overall pick in tomorrow's CFL draft and a few enticing options in front of them.

Head coach Danny Maciocia believes he's 95% sure who he will take with the pick - but isn't going to reveal anything until the Hamilton Tiger-Cats have made their first-overall choice.

But two sources have told Sun Media the Eskimos will likely select offensive lineman Dimitri Tsoumpas from Weber State.

'VIRTUAL LOCK'

"I think that offensive line-man and Edmonton native Dimitri Tsoumpas of Weber State is a virtual lock to be selected second overall by the Eskimos," said a source.

"Keith Shologan and Samuel Giguere made Danny Maciocia's decision a little easier when they signed NFL contracts."

Added another source: "I would say that unless someone trades up to the number 1 to select Dimitri, (he) will be Edmonton's pick at No. 2."

The CFL is often called a quarterback league, but without a really good offensive line the playoffs are a longshot.

Tsoumpas - a Strathcona High School graduate - could become a core member of the O-line for several years.

With veteran Dan Comiskey in the locker room, Tsoumpas could learn from one of the best in the league.

At six-four and 285 pounds, size isn't an issue.

But what could be an issue is the NFL.

There are at least four NFL teams poking around the offensive guard.

A contract offer hasn't been made, but something could materialize before tomorrow's Canadian draft.

"I have talked with a handful of NFL teams about Dimitri since the (NFL) draft ended," said Mark Maren, Tsoumpas's agent.

"It now becomes a matter of accessing the best opportunity for Dimitri.

"If he has a legitimate chance of making it through training camp we will of course place him in the NFL. Now if he can make an immediate impact on a CFL roster, we will strongly consider coming straight into camp the end of May.

"Bottom line is: I will sit down with him and lay everything out on the table, and ultimately make the best decision for his career."

So, if Tsoumpas goes to the NFL on a free-agent contract, do the Eskimos risk selecting him second overall?

LOCAL PRODUCT

Maciocia certainly has the local product on his radar screen.

"He is a good football player," said the coach.

"He started every game that he has played in (at college) - big, tough, physical player."

There are also reports the Eskimos are interested in taking offensive lineman Jesse Newman.

"He played left tackle (in college) which is a position usually occupied for a player that protects the backside of the quarterback," said Maciocia on the Louisiana-Lafayette lineman.

"He did really well for himself."

There is also speculation the Esks might take Shea Emry - a linebacker from UBC - in the first round.

"(A) very good football player," Maciocia stated. "(He) definitely will be able to come in and put his mark on special teams."

The Esks' special teams unit could use some more Canadian studs.

But Tsoumpas is the best bet to be Edmonton's first choice barring an NFL team getting in the way.


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