Pair head up Bombers' shopping list for CFL draft

St. Francis Xavier University X-Men linebacker and 2010 CIS Presidents Trophy recipient Henoc...

St. Francis Xavier University X-Men linebacker and 2010 CIS Presidents Trophy recipient Henoc Muamba is one of two possible No. 1 selections for the Blue Bombers at Sunday's CFL draft.

 Kirk Penton, Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 4:05 AM ET

Joe Mack was all ready to play coy with the media on Wednesday, saying the Blue Bombers were “pretty close” to deciding whom they were going to pick first overall in Sunday’s CFL draft.

Asked exactly how close they were, the GM said they had to figure out “what number we would give him.”

So the Bombers have made their choice, and there appears to be two possibilities. The first is Ottawa native Scott Mitchell, an offensive lineman out of Houston’s Rice University who was the No. 1-ranked prospect in the final CFL Scouting Bureau list last month. If it’s not Mitchell, then look for the Bombers to grab Mississauga, Ont., product Henoc Muamba, a star linebacker from Nova Scotia’s St. Francis Xavier University.

No matter who it is, the Bombers believe they will be securing a player who won’t necessarily start right away but who possesses all the traits they want in a No. 1 pick.

“Toughness, (strong) work habits, enthusiasm for the game, enthusiasm for coming to Winnipeg, an overall mindset of where we’re trying to get in terms of overall team attitude, and, not to be flip about it, but to have a real warrior type of mentality where he’ll do battle day in and day out, game in and game out,” Mack said, rattling off the characteristics of their pick.

Mack planned to let the No. 1 choice know of the team’s intention to draft him in the “next day or two.” The player will be brought to Winnipeg this weekend in time for the draft since TSN has been granted complete access to the Bomber management team during the first round.

Word around the CFL is the Bombers believe Mitchell, Muamba and Calgary Dinos receiver Nathan Coehoorn are all worthy of the No. 1 selection, which is why they’re entertaining offers for the No. 4 pick they acquired in the Steven Jyles trade with Toronto in March.

And if the Bombers really are as interested in Central Michigan receiver Kito Poblah as they say they are, then Coehoorn or Calgary receiver Anthony Parker, the No. 2-ranked player on the CFL’s scouting list, wouldn’t be a necessity. Poblah is likely going to be available in the CFL supplemental draft for players who didn’t get their non-import paperwork to the league office in time for this weekend’s regular draft.

“That’s a big factor for us, because we’ve done a lot of homework on (Poblah),” Mack said. “He’s kind of interesting to us, so we’d like to know whether or not he’ll be in the supplemental draft, because that could have some effect on what we do on Sunday.”

Asked where the Bombers need Canadian help specifically, Mack said the offensive and defensive lines.

“We have to continue to get some young Canadian offensive linemen in the pipeline,” Mack said.

One Bomber staffer smiled to another when Mack mentioned the offensive line. Take that for what it’s worth.

 WHAT’S UP?: One of Winnipeg’s draft picks from last year, Calgary Dinos running back Anthony Woodson, raised some eyebrows on Maroons Road Wednesday when Football Canada announced he was on its senior football team.

Woodson is scheduled to compete for Canada at the world championship in Austria this July. That was news to the Bombers, who figured Woodson would want to crack their roster this summer.

“We’re hoping he’ll be at camp. We’ll be disappointed if he isn’t,” Mack said. “We really think he has a chance to contribute. He’s healthy.”

CUT LOOSE: The Edmonton Eskimos on Wednesday released quarterback Jared Zabransky and former Bomber receiver Kamau Peterson.

Asked if Winnipeg had any interest in Zabransky, Mack didn’t exactly say no through a team spokesman: “Right now the focus is the draft.”

 

 

 


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