Lineman eyes his QEW map

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:52 AM ET

Little compares to getting married and starting a new life with your spouse.

And now that he is hitched, offensive lineman Simeon Rottier is ready to settle down. But where?

The top-ranked player for the CFL's Canadian draft had a pretty good idea yesterday that he wind up in southern Ontario, but was not sure whether it would in Hamilton or Toronto.

The Tiger-Cats have the first pick overall in the draft this morning and are expected to take one of Rottier or No. 2-ranked Etienne Legare, a defensive lineman. The Argonauts then would take the other with the second pick.

"Wherever I go, I know it's going to be a steep learning curve," Rottier, who tied the knot with his fiance, Jennifer, on April 18, said in a telephone interview. "Whether I go No. 1 is not a big deal. Either team would be fine. My biggest concern is just getting to camp and making the team."

Rounding out the consensus top three is running back Jamall Lee, an explosive talent who will give the Argos pause for thought even though he has signed a deal with the Carolina Panthers of the NFL. Eric Fraser, a defensive back with Central Michigan, tops the rankings of NCAA players who are eligible for the draft.

While a source last night suggested that Hamilton was leaning Rottier's way, with Argos then going to Legare, there remains a chance Toronto could take Lee before the Ticats are scheduled to pick again at No. 3. And, there also is some thought that, if the Argos pass on Lee, the Ticats might take slotback Matt Carter.

With the B.C. Lions owning the fourth, fifth and sixth picks, it's a virtual guarantee they will use one of those selections on Lee if he remains available.

The Montreal Alouettes have the seventh choice and the Saskatchewan Roughriders will pick eighth to end the first round.

Argos assistant general manager/director of player personnel Greg Mohns does not see Lee's status with the Panthers as a big drawback.

"You gotta like him," Mohns said. "It just means you get him now or later."

But that doesn't necessarily mean the Argos, who have seven picks in the six-round draft, will take Lee.

"We're looking for a player who can be a core guy for at least six years and hopefully 10," Mohns said. "It's a combination of addressing an area of need along with taking the best player available."

The Argos' run game is not great, so Lee would be a nice fit. But Rottier and Legare would look fine in Double Blue, as well.

Some of the uncertainty with the direction the Ticats would take at No. 1 involves their efforts to sign defensive tackle Corey Mace. As of last night, it did not appear that Hamilton would sign Mace before this morning, meaning they might lean toward Legare at No. 1. But a Ticats spokesman said that signing Mace did not alter the club's plans.

The Ticats and Roughriders got the trade ball rolling yesterday. Hamilton acquired linebacker Yannick Carter, receiver Brandon Myles and Saskatchewan's third-round pick today in exchange for linebacker Sasha Glavic and the Tiger-Cats' third-round choice.

---

FIRST ROUND

1. Hamilton Tiger-Cats

2. Toronto Argonauts

3. Hamilton (via Winnipeg)

4. B.C. Lions (via Tor. via Edm.)

5. B.C. Lions

6. B.C. Lions (via Saskatchewan)

7. Montreal Alouettes

8. Calgary Stampeders


Videos

Photos