Bolster shot for Eskimos' O-line

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:11 AM ET

Scott Mitchell’s mom was the one doing the giving on Mother’s Day.

The six-foot-four, 300-lb offensive lineman was still in Houston, where he just finished playing four years with the Owls, but couldn’t get any live information on Sunday’s CFL draft.

“I was actually on the phone with my mom when I called her asking what was going on because I hadn’t heard anything,” said the Ottawa-raised O-liner, who ended up being taken second overall by the Edmonton Eskimos.

“It’s absolutely huge, but it kind of didn’t start off the way I wanted it to.

“I’m down here in Houston trying my best to find a way to watch the draft but I couldn’t really find anything online or radio or anything live like that. I was sort of watching the draft tracker as best I could, but it was kind of slow.”

The only update he got was a text from his agent before Edmonton’s pick, saying they were going with a receiver.

“I was like ‘What’s going on?’

“So I called my mom (in Ottawa),” said Mitchell, who graduates on Saturday with a sports management degree.

“She said, ‘Hold on, hold on. Oh, they’re calling your name.’ I was fired up, too, because I was talking to them the most.”

As well as Hamilton, Montreal and Saskatchewan as late as Saturday. So being the top-ranked player according to the CFL Scouting Bureau, Mitchell wasn’t surprised to be taken in the top two.

“A lot of people thought Scott would go first overall,” said Eskimos general manager Eric Tillman.

“Given the fact that Aaron Fiacconi — who had a good year for us last year — is 32, the fact that Scott has the ability to play at all three spots, be it centre, guard or tackle, that was huge for us.”

As are the expectations on Mitchell coming into spring camp.

“Mitchell comes in right away and bolster’s our depth at O-line,” said head coach Kavis Reed. “We expect him to compete for a starting position as that’s the reason why we selected him.”

And Mitchell expects nothing less.

“The pressure, to me, is not that big a thing,” he said. “I’ve been dealing with it my whole life. I’m happy they took me on, I’m happy they have faith in me.

“Now I’ve just got to deliver and I’m sure I will.”

Just like he’s sure of his new home.

“The first professional game I went to was an Edmonton Eskimos game,” Mitchell said. “I’ve got some family up there and I’ve been out there a couple times. I know some guys on the team, actually, so it just seemed like the right fit.”

TRADE ROUTE: Scheduled to draft 10th and 13th overall in Round 2, the Eskimos traded both for Hamilton’s fifth-overall pick — which they used on receiver Nate Coehoorn — as well as negotiation rights to University of Kentucky import tight-end-turned-left-tackle Zipp Duncan. To get back into the second round, the Eskimos traded defensive lineman Brian Bulcke — their unsigned first-round selection in 2010 — to the Calgary Stampeders in order to take University of Toronto defensive back Hugo Lopez 14th overall. They then swapped fullback Graeme Bell with the Saskatchewan Roughriders for a sixth-round pick to take Montreal receiver Youssy Pierre.

LIGHT MOOD: At least he wasn’t looking into a crystal ball.

Tillman’s interview with TSN during the draft was interrupted briefly when a piece of lighting equipment crashed to the ground.

“That’s live television, something just collapsed,” he said on-air before quipping: “I hope that’s not an indicator of our season.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca

Twitter@Gerry_EdmSun


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