As he entered his first CFL Draft as a General Manager and Vice-President of Football Operations, Brock Sunderland was more than prepared for Sunday’s draft. Sunderland worked for the Montreal Alouettes as a scout and the Director of Canadian Scouting from 2004 to 2007. He was the Assistant General Manager for the Ottawa REDBLACKS from 2013 to 2017 before moving to Edmonton.
This is Sunderland’s first draft as a G.M. where he makes the final decision and with the fifth overall pick he selected Carleton Ravens receiver Nate Behar. Sunderland says he was more concerned about Behar being available at fifth overall than making his first draft pick as a CFL General Manager.
“It was more eggshells waiting to see if he would be available, we knew who we wanted that we were targeting him from the moment we finalized our draft board,” Sunderland said. “The work was done, hay was in the barn. Like I always say, draft day is the calmest part of the process because you have your board and you just take the next guy available. The only nerves were is he going to be there.”
In four seasons with the Ravens Behar recorded 2,577 yards receiving and scored 21 touchdowns. He led the Ravens in receiving yards in each of his final three seasons. Behar says he’s looking forward to joining the green and gold.
“Mike Reilly throws the football there, Shamawd’s (Chambers) there, Jason Maas is the HC, and I get to learn from Adarius Bowman,” Behar said. “It’s just the best place to go for a young guy and I’m so excited.”
In the second round (14th overall) the Eskimos selected Laval offensive lineman Jean Simon Roy. Listed at 6’2, 287 pounds Roy is projected to be a future guard or centre according to Brock Sunderland. Roy had the most reps on the bench press of any player at the CFL combine with 39 at 225 pounds.
With their third round pick (22nd overall) the Eskimos picked Maine linebacker Christophe Mulumba who in 42 career starts recorded 342 defensive tackles and 20 tackles for losses. He recently attended the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie mini-camp but wasn’t offered a contract.
In the fourth round (31st overall) the Eskimos selected Waterloo defensive back Jordan Hoover who made the CFL’s national combine through the Ontario regional combine.
The Eskimos took a couple of chances with their two fifth round picks. With the 40th overall pick the Eskimos selected Mississippi State offensive lineman Justin Senior who was the top ranked CFL prospect. Senior was selected in the 6th round of the NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks, he recently signed a four-year contract. With the 41st overall pick the Eskimos selected Wilfred Laurier defensive end Kwaku Boeteng who recently received an invite to the mini-camp of the Chicago Bears. At 6’2, 250 pounds Boateng could project either as a defensive end or as a linebacker.
In the sixth round (49th overall) the Eskimos addressed their offensive line once again and selected Carleton offensive lineman Kwabena Asare. After having no pick in the seventh round the Eskimos with their final selection in the eighth round (67th overall) picked McMaster defensive lineman Mark Mackie.
Jason Maas says he feels his football team is much improved after Sunday’s draft.
“We did a lot of work the last couple of days, obviously a little nerve-wracking there in the first round trying to get the guy we wanted,” Maas said. “Obviously there was a lot work put in to the start of the draft. You know draft day is an exciting time really, you’re just sitting back looking at the guys on the board and excited every time our guys came up. Felt really good about the draft, feel really good about the depth we’ve created for our team and the competition we’ve created for our guys going into our camp.”
Training camp will open on May 27 with medicals, the first on-field session will be May 28.