Esks 'Bulcke' up on D-line

Edmonton Eskimos draft pick Corbin Sharun trains on the track at Leduc Composite high school on...

Edmonton Eskimos draft pick Corbin Sharun trains on the track at Leduc Composite high school on Sunday after being drafted. ( JASON FRANSON/EDMONTON SUN)

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:12 AM ET

EDMONTON - The Edmonton Eskimos had to buckle up for Sunday’s CFL Canadian Draft.

Make that Bulcke up.

Brian Bulcke was the Eskimo’s top pick after trading up to the sixth-overall spot to get the defensive tackle, swapping their ninth and 22nd-overall selections with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the middle of the first round.

“We’ve tried for the last three months to move up into the first round for the simple reason that we wanted Bulcke,” said Eskimos general manager Danny Maciocia, whose organization hasn’t had an opening-round selection since taking defensive lineman Adam Braidwood first overall in 2007.

Senior year

However, the six-foot-three, 272-pound Windsor, Ont., native is returning to Stanford for his senior year in 2010.

“We know we have to wait a year, but he’s worth the wait because he can give you eight to 10 good years,” Maciocia said.

“We wanted to land Brian and we’re excited about knowing that he’ll be an Eskimo here in 2011 and we’ll have an opportunity to watch him play in the PAC 10.”

Maciocia draws comparisons between Bulcke and a former player he coached in Montreal.

“He’s as close as you’re going to get to an Ed Philion,” said Maciocia.

“He’ll come in here next year and he’s got the ability to start right away. He’s played since his freshman year at Stanford.”

Although he saw time at linebacker in his freshman year, Bulcke moved to starting defensive tackle by the end of his sophomore season with the Cardinals. He had a strong end to his junior year before red-shirting the 2009 season due to a wrist injury. But the Eskimos are encouraged by what they’ve seen lately.

“They had spring camp here a few days ago. Out of 60 snaps, he was out there for 45, he can play a three technique to one technique, he can come off the edge, he comes from a great family,” Maciocia said. “He’s one individual we felt we needed to have here.”

Beyond his physical attributes, Bulcke’s non-import status will also benefit the position.

“We haven’t been able to change the ratio along the defensive line,” Maciocia said. “This guy will give us the ability to do so. We just have to wait for it for about a year, but when he comes here he will be an impact player.”

Haven’t spoken

Due to rules regarding returning college players in the U.S. system, the Eskimos haven’t been able to speak with Bulcke directly.

“You need to be careful because it could be a violation if you talk to a player who’s still playing at the NCAA level,” Maciocia said. “So you have to be careful how you go about it. You go through some of the family members.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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