The Winnipeg Blue Bombers will be looking for some big beef today in the CFL draft.
"You always have to go into the draft thinking you've gotta come away with a Canadian (offensive) lineman," Bombers head coach Mike Kelly said yesterday.
Winnipeg's first pick is in the third round, 19th overall, although Kelly wouldn't rule out a little wheeling and dealing. Kelly would be more willing to trade during the draft than before it.
"It doesn't make any sense to arbitrarily move up to a spot prior to the draft," he said. "We'd want to see which players are available at a certain spot."
The book on this year's class of Canadian talent is that the top four or five players are starter material and the rest are not -- yet. That would be another reason not to make a deal, according to Kelly.
"I'm not so sure pick 19 is going to be a whole lot different than pick seven," he said. "So unless you can get into the top five, it might not be worth it."
Alberta offensive lineman Simeon Rottier is expected to go first overall. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats own that pick.
EX-JAG QB IMPRESSIVE
Forget about Casey Printers.
Quinn Gray just might become the Bombers' newest quarterback.
There are rumblings that Gray, a 29-year-old former Jacksonville Jaguars pivot, impressed the Bomber brass at their mini-camp in Florida two weeks ago. Printers also attended that camp but apparently didn't stand out.
Bombers head coach Mike Kelly said the Bombers will have "preferably four" or five quarterbacks at training camp. They already have four passers under contract: Stefan LeFors, Ryan Dinwiddie, Bryan Randall and James Kilian.
BLUE & GOLD GAME
Football Manitoba's annual Blue & Gold Games will take place today at Canad Inns Stadium.
The under-17 game is slated for 1 p.m., while the under-19 match kicks off at 4 p.m.
The all-star contests will give provincial team coaches a good look at potential players for Manitoba's under-17 and under-19 teams that will compete at the Football Canada Cup in Saskatoon this summer.