Searching for rough diamonds

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:54 AM ET

In the new CFL salary-cap era, the Canadian draft has become even more crucial to a team's plans.

"It is extremely important because these are the guys that aren't going to cost you as much as if you are trying to get yourself a quality Canadian off the free-agent market," said Edmonton Eskimos head coach Danny Maciocia.

"And at some point they are going to replace your high-priced players."

For example, a highly touted first-round pick in tomorrow's draft would be fortunate to get a three-year-deal with a salary near $65,000 in his final year of the contract.

On the flip side, an established talented veteran Canadian at certain positions is earning close to $100,000.

This makes every round of this year's draft important, with teams hoping to find diamonds in the rough past the first round.

Here is Duane Forde's (Score TV/cfl.ca draft co-anchor) projected secondary tier of players (10-20 picks) for tomorrow's draft.

- Reggie Bradshaw (RB, Montana, 6-0, 215): leading rusher on his club.

- Yannick Carter (DB, Wilfrid Laurier, 5-11, 195): actually played LB in college.

- Eric Ince (OL, Saint Mary's, 6-4, 296): possibly the most athletic lineman on the board.

- Andrew Jones (DT, McMaster, 6-3, 299): could be switched to OL.

- Warren Kean (PK/P, Concordia, 6-1, 200): Best kicker in draft.

- Jason Nedd (DB, Akron, 5-9, 196): Has only been a starter for half of one year.

- Adam Nicholson (SB, Ottawa, 6-3, 219): Inconsistency an apparent issue.

- Travis Noel (LB, St. Francis Xavier, 6-0, 220): The hardest hitter in the group.

- Jordan Rempel (OL, Saskatchewan, 6-6, 332): Stock has fallen since the fall.

- Brad Smith (SB, Queen's, 5-11, 192): His stock is dropping because it's a deep receiver draft.


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