I’m finding myself more interested in tonight’s CFL Draft than ever before. In part that makes a lot of sense, because I’ve invested a lot of time watching Canadian football in the past 7 years. If you’ve followed high school, OVFL/OFC, Team Ontario, OUA and CIS football for years then you can’t help but be interested in following the players you’ve watched move on and up. Recruits that I followed and have written about for four years are this year’s CFL prospects.
But it’s more than that, I think for many Gryphon fans. Especially after listening to Kyle Walters, Mike O’Shea and Pat Tracey speak, and answer questions, at last week’s Gala Dinner. A lot of us will be following very closely the progress of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. And that includes their draft picks tonight. But this is also Chris Rossetti‘s first draft as the Director of Player Personnel for the Toronto Argonauts and what Gryphon fan doesn’t also wish him success. [Except against the Ticats.]
Add to those considerations the fact that former Gryphon Justin Dunk and Gryphon parent (x2) Tim Baines are two of the “expert” voices on the draft. You can find their 1st round draft projections here. The only complete 7-round mock draft I’ve seen – CFL Mock Draft 4.0 – has Gryphon RB Rob Farquharson as a late round pick of the BC Lions. I’ve heard from several CFL sources including Dunk that there is also significant interest in DT Jeff Finley. Many wouldn’t be shocked to see him also picked in the late rounds.
CFL.ca and TSN.ca will offer live coverage. In fact, on CFL.ca the “draft coverage starts at Noon ET on Tuesday, as resident CIS analyst Justin Dunk weighs in with his second Mock Draft, before taking over the @CFL Twitter account at 4:00pm ET to answer your questions live.” The first round will be broadcast live on TSN beginning at 7 pm.
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Most Gryphon fans are assuming (really counting on) Farquharson and Finley will returning for the 2014 season. That may be likely but it’s not a sure thing. Certainly we wish both the best if they get a shot in the CFL. We’ll have to see how it plays out. In actual fact, returning after the experience of a CFL training camp might be the best hope from a purely Gryphon 2014 perspective. If that were to happen, Guelph could have as solid a running game as they have since the Nick FitzGibbon or Gerrit Stam years. Finley’s return to an experienced and deep front 4 could give the Gryphons their best D-Line talent since possibly 1992.