We’re just weeks away from CFL teams heading to training camp for the start of the 2015 season. Before that happens, though, the CFL draft is being held today. It’s a bit of a cramped timeline, but the league always waits until the NFL hold its draft so teams have a chance to see which American and Canadian college players who qualify for National status get picked so they don’t waste a high draft pick on a player who intends to give the NFL a shot.
Barring any last minute trades, the Riders are scheduled to pick sixth in the first round. The Green & White don’t have a second round pick, and after that the team picks 26th (third round), 35th (fourth round), 42nd (fifth round), 50 (sixth round) and 59th (seventh round).
The talent available this year is supposed to be pretty good, so teams will be looking to secure some top prospects. Here’s a link to the final draft rankings from the CFL scouting bureau.
As far as said prospects go, University of Regina Ram receiver Addison Richards is ranked #12. He was your pick for best Best Cougar Athlete in Best of Regina 2014, and with Canadian receivers Chris Getzlaf and Rob Bagg getting on in years, Richards, who is 6’5″ 210 pounds, might draw interest from the Riders — him being a hometown boy and all.
But awhile back there were rumours floating around that the Riders were keen to draft an offensive lineman. With previous first-round pick Ben Heenan having signed with the Indianapolis Colts, and former centre Dominic Picard released, the team may well be looking to improve its depth at what is typically a key position for National players.
The Riders have already held a mini-camp in Florida, where all eyes were on QB Darian Durant, who missed the last half of the 2014 season with a badly injured elbow on his throwing arm. He passed that test with flying colours, so his rehab after surgery seems to have gone well.
Following training camp and two exhibition games (including one against the Edmonton Eskimos in Fort McMurray on June 13) the Riders open the regular season at home against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on June 27.
In the June 25 Prairie Dog Cal Corduroy, Earl Camembert and Ron Mexico will offer their thoughts on what ended up being a fairly busy off-season for the Riders, and how they think the Riders will fare in 2015. They’ll be joined by a fourth panelist, Hillary Lewinsky, a long-time football fan who will offer her perspective on the team from her home in Saskatoon.