Late pick not a problem

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:40 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers' first pick in today's CFL draft will happen in the third round, 19th overall.

Believe it or not, it's their highest first selection since 2001, when they also had the 19th pick, and trade-happy GM Brendan Taman feels the Blue and Gold will do just fine during today's haul of Canadian-bred football talent.

"With the picks we have, we're going to get some decent players," Taman said yesterday. "(Head coach) Doug (Berry's) philosophy right now is we need a guy that can help us this year.

"We're not going to wait on no junior for another two years."

Last week's Ottawa Renegades dispersal draft changed many teams' roster needs, and perhaps no one was affected more than the Bombers.

Winnipeg scooped up Canadian O-linemen Obby Khan and Val St. Germain, which means they'll likely shift their attention elsewhere today.

"We're a little bit thin in the secondary and receiver," said Taman. "Prior to a week ago, obviously O-line was a big need, but now it's maybe not as much, which is rare to say that."

Bombers receiver coach Bob Dyce, who also does the team's scouting for the draft, said the acquisition of Khan and St. Germain doesn't necessarily mean the Blue and Gold will pass on O-linemen.

"If there's someone we could develop, we might go in that direction," said Dyce.

The Blue and Gold could also use some more non-import bodies at linebacker, and Dyce said the team is always looking for a linebacker-fullback body type who can play special teams.

The Edmonton Eskimos have the first overall selection, acquired in the Jason Maas trade, and the B.C. Lions have the second, fourth and sixth picks.

Several of the consensus top-10 players available play at American universities, have eligibility remaining or could get looks in the NFL, which could make the first couple rounds more of a crapshoot than it already is.

The Bombers, meanwhile, hope to snag someone who can come in and play right away, which could be difficult considering the league's overall talent pool has been condensed with the suspension of the Renegades.

"We've been lucky since I've been here," said Dyce. "Almost every rookie we've drafted has made the team, but it's going to definitely be tougher this year."


Videos

Photos