May 11, 2016

2016 CFL Draft Breakdown


Selected: Second round, 9th overall

Position: Defensive end

School: Virginia

Height: 6-3

Weight: 255 lbs

Notable: Started 11 of Virginia’s 12 games last year with the Cavaliers and has a career-high six tackles in his first start, vs. UCLA… Was the CJFL’s defensive rookie of the year with the Ottawa Sooners in 2011… Was the Canadian junior national titleholder in the javelin and anchored his high school’s 4×100 meter relay team… Was recently in a mini-camp with the New York Jets… At the Virginia pro day in March he was watched closely by 28 NFL teams and three from the CFL… His 34 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press would have ranked first of any D-linemen at the 2016 NFL Combine.

Why he’s a good fit for the Bombers: He’s a gifted and versatile athlete that can groom under Jamaal Westerman, now 31, and then possibly step in as a starter. Winnipeg now has five Canadian D-linemen in Westerman, Corney, Keith Shologan, Jake Thomas and Louie Richardson.


Selected: second round, 10th overall

Position: Offensive line

School: Simon Fraser

Height: 6-4

Weight: 276 lbs

Notable: Was a Great Northwest Athletic Conference 1st-team all-star at centre in 2014 and at tackle in 2015… Made 37 starts at left guard, centre and right tackle with the Clansmen… Dominant in the one-on-one sessions at the CFL’s Evaluation Camp in March.

Why he’s a good fit for the Bombers: The Bombers plan to start three Canadians along their offensive line, but needed more depth to cover themselves for possible injuries. Sukh Chungh and Patrick Neufeld will likely flank centre Matthias Goossen at the two guard spots and veteran Jeff Keeping provides the experience. But Couture is exactly the kind of versatile lineman CFL teams covet and with Goossen just 23 years old and Chungh 24 the Bombers have found some depth.


Selected: Third round, 19th overall

Position: Defensive back

School: UBC

Height: 6-3

Weight: 220 lbs

Notable: Voted the second-ranked prospect in the Canada West (behind Manitoba’s David Onyemata) by the conference’s six coaches… Led Canada West with 42 solo tackles and added a pair of interceptions… Began his college career at Boise State but missed the 2012 and 2014 seasons with two knee injuries and hip injuries before deciding to return to football with the Thunderbirds… Graduated from Boise State with a business degree… A star in high school in Kelowna, playing quarterback and defensive back en route to being named  the BC High School Football League’s MVP.

Why he’s a good fit for the Bombers: The Bombers are stockpiling some young Canadian defensive backs behind 30-year-old Matt Bucknor, who starts at corner, in Derek Jones, Brendan Morgan and now Loffler. A hard-hitting safety and versatile athlete, Loffler has special-teams guy written all over him and could push for defensive playing time down the road.


Selected: 4th round, 28th overall

Position: Linebacker

School: Laval

Height: 5-11

Weight: 218 lbs

Notable: Named to a CIS 2nd-Team All-Canadian after leading Laval in tackles with 43.5 while adding a sack as a senior… Also a two-time RSEQ All-Star… Was one of six Canadians invited to a NFL regional combine in Baltimore in February.

Why he’s a good fit for the Bombers: He’ll be in the mix as a special teams guy along with another linebacker John Rush, who was signed during the offseason, as the club looks to upgrade its overall depth.


Selected: Fifth round, 37th overall

Position: Offensive lineman

School: McMaster

Height: 6-5

Weight: 298 lbs

Notable: Named a First Team OUA All-Star at guard, was also a second team OUA All-Star as Junior.

Why he’s a good fit for the Bombers: Teams can never have enough of the homegrown big eaters and this is exactly the kind of raw prospect the Bombers love to have Bob Wylie work with on a daily basis.


Selected: Sixth round, 46th overall

Position: Defensive tackle

School: Western

Height: 6-5

Weight: 296 lbs

Notable: Called a sleeper by TSN draft analyst Duane Forde, Butcher worked behind current Toronto D-tackle Daryl Waud with the Mustangs… Played in the CIS East-West Bowl as a senior after posting 10.5 tackles and three sacks in eight games. That year, he was named an OUA first team all-star.

Why he’s a good fit for the Bombers: With two Canadians starting on the D-line, Butcher – like Corney – has an opportunity here to crack a roster. Depth in the trenches is critical.


Selected: 7th round, 55th overall

Position: Receiver

School: Manitoba

Height: 6-1

Weight: 205 lbs

Notable: A J.H. Bruns graduate and Winnipeg product…Led the Bisons in receiving as a senior with 728 yards and four touchdowns and from 2013-2015, he finished with 1,315 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.

Why he’s a good fit for the Bombers: The Bombers plan to start only one Canadian receiver, but depth at this spot is critical in that it could give them ratio versatility. Vitt is a scrapper and he gets open, two attributes coaches and quarterbacks love.


Selected: Eighth round, 63rd overall

Position: Linebacker

School: Windsor

Height: 6-1

Weight: 215 lbs

Notable: Played three years with the Lancers and was all over the field with 120.5 tackles and 7.5 sacks.

Why he’s a good fit for the Bombers: We’ll see. Tough for late-round guys to crack rosters but, as Pierre-Luc Labbe proved years ago, it’s just about opportunity.