Esks have draft hangover

Gerry Moddejonge, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:41 AM ET

EDMONTON - Big names? Big deal.

While the opening rounds of the NFL Draft captured all the hype and attention, the Edmonton Eskimos are just now starting to pay attention.

With names like Sam Bradford long, long gone and the fourth through seventh rounds taking place Saturday, the Eskimos and other CFL teams are finally perking up over the names that are left.

“I don’t care about them because I know we’re never going to see those guys. It’s all those tweeners that we may get to see,” Eskimos general manager Danny Maciocia said of the early round selections. “I have no interest in (Thursday) or (Friday), my interest is in (Saturday). Those are the guys I’m hoping are going to fall through so we can take a shot at them.”

“I’ve already spoken to most of them.”

And he’s had his work cut out for him with the depth in quality the NFL Draft offers this year.

“It’s so much deeper because there’s a record number of players that are juniors that are coming up,” he said. “There’s going to be some pretty good football players that are going to be available when all is said and done.

“We’ve got an opportunity to maybe secure one or two of them.”

It’s no coincidence that the CFL Draft is scheduled a week later.

“We just want to make sure that when we do pick, the players we are picking haven’t been drafted in the NFL,” Maciocia said of the northern league’s May 2 draft date. “It’s happened in the past where our draft was before, and we’re drafting players only to realize the following week that those guys are no longer there.

“We don’t want to get caught up in that.”

Campbell tracking

While he’s not exactly missing in action, whether or not Kelly Campbell sees any action with the Edmonton Eskimos this season remains to be seen.

The Eskimos hold the rights to the standout receiver who had a stellar rookie campaign with the squad in 2008 before he peddled his talents south of the border last year.

“I spoke to Kelly Campbell about a month and a half ago,” said Maciocia.

“I really don’t know if he’s going to be at training camp (in June) or not.

“If he comes, we’d love to have him. If not, clearly we’re still going to play.”

LaRose sighting

Although it hasn’t been confirmed whether Edmonton’s own J.R. LaRose will be in attendance at the annual open tryout scheduled for Saturday afternoon at Clarke Park, the former Eskimos starting safety has already been to a camp this year.

The non-import was released by the Eskimos at this time last year after not being able to fully recover from a broken right leg suffered in a 2008 game.

The 26-year-old worked out for the B.C. Lions last week at a free-agent camp in Surrey, B.C.

Sized up?

The Eskimos are looking at bringing in former San Diego Chargers defensive end Andre Coleman, but it’s not a done deal.

“We’re talking to Andre Coleman, we’re still speaking,” Maciocia said of the six-foot-three, 287-pound Albany product.

“There is no contract right now.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos