Super-lookin' kids

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:34 AM ET

The CFL's Canadian college draft will never produce the same hype as the NHL entry draft.

However, there is no doubting the draft's importance with the eight remaining clubs in the league.

"I'm a firm believer that you will only go as far as your Canadian content takes you," said Edmonton Eskimo head coach Danny Maciocia.

"Since half of your roster is comprised of Canadian players, they're extremely important."

And for the first time in 10 years, the Esks hold the first-overall pick in the selection process for non-import players thanks to the deal last December with Hamilton for quarterback Jason Maas.

Providing the club doesn't trade the pick before tomorrow's draft begins, there will be several enticing options for the defending Grey Cup champions.

Here are the top-eight prospects in alphabetical order, according to the Sun and CFL insiders. (Due to different needs with different teams, it's very difficult to rank the prospects in a projected draft order.)

ADAM BRAIDWOOD

DE - 6-FOOT-4, 265 POUNDS, WASHINGTON ST.

Regarded as the best player in the draft, he cracked the Washington St. roster in the ultra-competitive Pac 10 conference as a rookie and has become a major force.

However, he could find himself in an NFL camp this summer, meaning he might never see the CFL.

Insider opinion: "In terms of the testing at the CFL evaluation camp, he's the strongest guy.

"And he's the most pro ready because of the level of competition he has played."

ERIC DESLAURIERS

WR - 6-FOOT-4, 206, EASTERN MICHIGAN

He has 2,000 receiving yards over the last two seasons, but has another year of school left. A big 2006 campaign south of the border could bring an NFL opportunity.

Insider: "He has sort of been in the top 20 (for receivers) in Division I-A in each of the last two years."

ANDY FANTUZ

WR/SB - 6-FOOT-3, 220, WESTERN ONTARIO

His stock might be falling after failing to be the top receiver in tests at the CFL combine.

But he did win the Hec Crighton Trophy last year and is eligible to play this summer.

Insider: "Not as fast as Deslauriers, but I think he'll adjust well because he has played in a pro-style offence."

ARJEI FRANKLIN

WR/SB - 5-FOOT-9, 190, WINDSOR

Although he's small, his stock skyrocketed at the combine.

He posted the best 40-yard clocking and top vertical reach measurement among receivers.

Insider: "Probably the most athletic player in this draft."

DAN FEDERKEIL

DL - 6-FOOT-7, 285, CALGARY

Referred to as a man among boys in the CIS by one CFL scout.

Insider: "He has good leverage and comes off the line very well."

CEDRIC GAGNE-MARCOUX

OL - 6-FOOT-2, 280, CENTRAL FLORIDA

The first-team all-star centre in Conference USA, but likely won't arrive in Canada until school is finished next year.

Insider: "Maybe a little undersized by NFL standards, so he may not get an NFL look."

DOMINIC PICARD

OL - 6-FOOT-2, 282, LAVAL

The top lineman in the CIS last year, but is considered a bit small.

Insider: "Didn't do very well in the one-on-ones in the combine, but as a centre, he's not going to have to block players one-on-one a lot."

JASON POTTINGER

LB - 6-FOOT-2, 240, MCMASTER

A possible ratio-buster.

Insider: "He's a top-five contender (in the first round)."


Videos

Photos