Esks go tire-kicking

Gerry Moddejonge, Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:56 AM ET

They don’t have a first-round pick in this year’s CFL draft, but the Edmonton Eskimos are no less interested in checking out some of the top potential first-hand.

In what’s expected to be a strong draft class available in 2010, potential recruits will showcase their talents beginning Friday at this weekend’s CFL Evaluation Camp in Toronto.

While the Eskimos remained relatively quiet in free agency so far in the off-season, they will be making some acquisitions before training camp kicks off in June.

“We’re going to probably announce a couple of guys along the O-line, to give you an example,” said general manager Danny Maciocia, who is at the University of Toronto with Eskimos head scout Ed Hervey and Canadian scouting manager Dan McKinnon. “A defensive lineman for sure, maybe even two. A couple of defensive backs for sure, that’s what I’ve got right now.”

It’s a list that will be supplemented by the May 2 draft. After trading away their first-round pick, the fourth overall, to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the Eskimos are left with five selections beginning with the 10th overall choice in Round 2.

“We may definitely add to the list after the next couple of weekends because there (was) the (NFL) combine in Indianapolis and there (were) over 300 players there,” Maciocia said. “Some will get drafted, some won’t get drafted. Some, their stock will drop and some will rise. So there’s going to be further discussions there.”

The more competitive Maciocia can make things come training camp, the better.

“It’s going to be (competitive),” he said. “Some of these guys that we’ve landed are guys that we’ve had on our radar for a period of time.”

And some fresh faces will be looking to make a blip for themselves this weekend, as the E-camp will put prospects through a series of speed, agility and strength tests along with football drills and one-on-one interviews.

Ten of the top 15 Canadian players identified by the league’s Central Scouting Bureau will be in attendance, including linebackers Cory Greenwood, of Concordia, Shomari Williams, out of Queen’s, and Joash Gesse of the University of Montreal.

All eyes will also be on a strong receiving corps, led by the University of Regina’s Jordan Sisco, who played in the East-West Shrine Game in Orlando in January.

The camp will also see its first kicker in nine years as Rob Maver becomes the first since Duncan O’Mahony in 2001.

In all, 54 of the 58 players invited come from the CIS, as opposed to NCAA programs.

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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