May 21, 2016

Pre-rookie camp, pieces falling into place

Michael Couture (52) OL Simon Fraser during the CFL combine in Toronto, Saturday March 12, 2016. (Photo: Johany Jutras / CFL)

May 21, 2016

The pieces of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ 2016 Canadian Football League Draft class are almost all in place.

Bombers GM Kyle Walters announced Saturday that offensive lineman Michael Couture and receiver Alex Vitt have both signed contracts and will be on the field when rookie camp opens next week.

Their additions, along with the signings earlier this week of Taylor Loffler, Shayne Gauthier, Zach Intzandt, Rupert Butcher and Frank Renaud, mean seven of the team’s eight selections are on board.

Meanwhile, the club is said to be close to signing Trent Corney – their first pick in the draft, ninth overall.

As a refresher, here’s a recap on Couture and Vitt and the comments Walters made on each back on draft night:


10TH - MIKE COUTURECouture (6-4, 295 lbs, Simon Fraser) was chosen right after Corney, with the 10th selection. Was a Great Northwest Athletic Conference First 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 one-on-one sessions at the CFL’s evaluation camp in March.

Walters, in discussing Couture:

“It’s his toughness, his physicality. He’s strong and athletic. He’s a little different than the Laval guys (selected ahead of him, Philippe Gagnon and Charles Vaillancourt) who were bigger and thicker. He carries his weight in a different way. He’s 295 pounds, but almost looks lean and thin. We really liked him. I know both Bob (Wylie, offensive line coach) and Paul (LaPolice, offensive coordinator) had him ranked as their no. 1 offensive lineman and our scouting department had him ranked in our top three.”


55th - ALEX VITTVitt (6-1, 205 lbs, Manitoba) was the Bombers’ seventh round selection (55th overall). A local product who attended J.H. Bruns Collegiate and played for the Bisons, Winnipeg Rifles, St. Vital Mustangs and Greendell Falcons. Led the Bisons in receiving last year as a senior with 728 yards and four touchdowns.

Walters, in discussing Vitt:

“Anyone around here who has watched him play saw a guy who plays 100 miles per hour. In those later rounds, if you can find a guy who plays tough and is physical… that’s Alex Vitt. You put the film on of him and he’s running around. He had a fantastic career and the coaches speak so highly of him from a work ethic and toughness standpoint. He’s going to come in and smash some people and play hard and give us everything he’s got.”


All the Blue Bomber draft picks are expected to be on the field on Wednesday, May 25 with the opening of rookie camp. The first day of main training camp is Sunday, May 29.