Draft picks are good

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:45 AM ET

Trader Taman is tired of getting knocked for his draft philosophy.

Stung by criticism of his penchant for draining Winnipeg of picks with trades for live bodies, the Blue Bomber GM defended his policy in no uncertain terms.

"It's (draft) important but it's not that important," Taman fumed late Tuesday. "Put it this way, did Toronto win the Grey Cup last year because they drafted so well? Not a chance. Did Winnipeg miss the playoffs because of the draft? Not a chance.

"I'd like to have all of my draft picks and I'd like to have some of the trades back. But if you have to trade a first-round pick for a quarterback (Kevin Glenn) or a backup quarterback (Spergon Wynn), you do it. I don't want to give the perception that we don't care because (assistant coach) Bobby (Dyce) has done a tremendous amount of work in the last four months. But we have the opportunity to get a higher pick but, would you give up a Canadian starter for a high draft pick? If you do, then that pick had better start."

NO QUARREL

Dyce has no quarrel with that approach.

"If you pick an offensive lineman with your first pick, you usually have to groom him for three years before he can start, then he goes to where he really wants to play -- after you've invested three years in him," he said. "The way Brendan's done it is that he's gotten very good talent that wants to be here. Look at the (Keith) Stokes trade for two middling draft picks. He got five touchdowns on returns last year."

Ironically, no CFL squad has more first-round picks on their roster than the Bombers, who have five -- defensive linemen Doug Brown and Jon Oosterhuis, receiver Kamau Peterson, safety Wes Lysack and fullback Scott Regimbald. All were selected by Calgary.

DIFFERENT VIEW: Stampeders head coach Tom Higgins, however, had a different take.

"It's just not something that has the pizzazz or sparkle of an NFL draft or a National Hockey League draft," he told Sun Media. "But it is as important to the success of a (CFL) franchise as are any of those drafts."

Calgary, by the way, has been offering to deal its No. 1 pick overall.

CHANCE FOR TYE: University of Manitoba Bison offensive lineman Tye Smith has apparently drawn some interest from both Toronto and B.C.

"He's got size (6-foot-5 and 335 pounds) and that's a good start," Taman said. "He's got a chance (to get drafted). He needs to work on some things, though."

LIKE FAMILY: Although McMaster running back Jesse Lumsden has already signed an NFL contract with Seattle, Hamilton head coach Greg Marshall admitted that there is a good possibility that he will take a flyer on him with the sixth pick overall in today's draft.

"There is a good chance we will but it depends on who else is available at that time," said Marshall, who coached Lumsden at McMaster before taking over the Tiger-Cats reigns. "There is a risk that he could be in Seattle for a few years. But Jesse's almost like family to us and it would be worth the risk for us to draft him."


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