Bombers movin' on up

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:01 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers just moved up in tomorrow's draft -- without even making a trade.

The Bombers moved into the sixth spot in the CFL's college entry draft when the Montreal Alouettes lost their first choice because the club exceeded its salary cap by more than $100,000.

"That's good, it's better than seventh," Bombers GM Brendan Taman responded yesterday. "That won't change anything, it just gets a guy closer to us. But it's good that the cap's working."

And Taman plans to keep that first-rounder for a change.

With that pick, Taman hopes to fill one of the team's most pressing needs -- offensive line, receiver or safety. And he would prefer an offensive tackle on the line.

The most promising offensive tackles available are considered to be Louisiana-Lafayette's Jesse Newman and South Carolina's Justin Sorensen. Although University of Saskatchewan safety Dylan Barker was expected to be one of the top picks, his stock has apparently fallen.

"Offensive linemen are always a prerequisite but I can't guarantee you who we will pick," Taman said yesterday. "But there's more quality O-linemen in this draft than at other positions."

The Bombers plan to invite 10-12 O-linemen to training camp.

Two projected first-rounders -- University of Sherbrooke wide receiver Samuel Giguere and U of Central Florida's defensive lineman Keith Shologan -- have signed with NFL teams as free agents.

The Bombers will also take long looks at linebackers.

Taman also believes six University of Manitoba Bisons players will be drafted, with defensive lineman Justin Shaw likely to go the highest.

NFL FALLOUT: Taman was fielding all kinds of calls from players or their agents after being passed over on the NFL draft on the weekend.

"There's been lots of fallout from the NFL draft and guys suddenly wanting jobs in the CFL," he said. "We're pretty well wrapped up with signing guys but we did save some room if we can get a couple of guys."

And that could include highly-touted quarterback Bryan Randall.

"I'm sure he's dealing with a couple of things right now," said Taman, who has been wooing Randall all winter.

The Bombers, meanwhile, did lose a kicker and a defensive back that were on their negotiation list to the NFL draft.

BEARMAN BACK: Bombers signed veteran DB Greg Bearman and LB Jesse Alexander, both non-imports, yesterday.

The 5-foot-8, 165-pound Bearman was a special teams standout, recording 15 special teams tackles last season.

"He's a solid special teams player who was graded very well by our coaching staff," Taman said. "Bearman's experience and versatility on special teams are valuable commodities."

The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Alexander was drafted by Saskatchewan but played two games for Toronto last year.

"I'm thinking of him as a special teams guy after losing (linebacker Adrian) Baird (to Edmonton as a free agent)," Taman said, adding that Baird was the only one of nine free agents the Bombers lost this winter.

Alexander, 26, was the OUA's nominee for the prestigious President's Trophy (top defensive player) playing out of Wilfrid Laurier in 2006.

"Alexander enjoyed an outstanding university football career and we are anxious to see what he has to offer when training camp begins," Taman said.

CAREFUL RECOVERY: Veteran C Obby Khan is still recovering from off-season surgery to remove his large intestine and Taman doubts if he will be ready to compete in two-a-days at camp as soon as June.


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