Blue Bombers take Ekak­i­tie first over­all in CFL Cana­dian draft

Cape Breton Post - - Sports -

The Win­nipeg Blue Bombers se­lected Iowa de­fen­sive line­man Faith Ekak­i­tie first over­all in the CFL draft Sun­day night.

The move wasn’t a sur­prise as the Bombers were re­port­edly in con­tract talks with the 24-yearold Brampton, Ont., na­tive prior to the draft.

Ekak­i­tie fin­ished fifth on the CFL scout­ing bureau’s fi­nal top20 prospects list last month, a jump of six po­si­tions.

Mis­sis­sippi State of­fen­sive line­man Justin Se­nior of Mon­treal, UCLA de­fen­sive line­man Eli Ankou of Ot­tawa and Man­i­toba of­fen­sive line­man Ge­off Gray of Win­nipeg se­cured the top three spots on the top-20 list while Laval tight end An­thony Au­clair was sev­enth. But Se­nior was taken in last week­end’s NFL draft while the other three signed as pri­or­ity free agents.

The six-foot-one, 304-pound Ekak­i­tie had 37 tack­les last sea­son for Iowa (8-4), adding two tack­les in the Hawkeyes’ 30-3 loss to Florida in the Out­back Bowl.

At Iowa’s pro day, Ekak­i­tie had 24 reps in the bench press, a broad jump of eight feet five inches, 28.5-inch ver­ti­cal leap and 40-yard dash time of 5.05 sec­onds.

The Saskatchewan Roughrid­ers took UCLA line­backer Cameron Judge at No. 2. The six-foot-one, 220-pound Judge, a late ad­di­tion to the draft, played 47 col­le­giate games, ex­celling on spe­cial teams while reg­is­ter­ing 46 tack­les, 2.5 tack­les for a loss, one forced fum­ble and one in­ter­cep­tion.

At third over­all, the B.C. Lions took McMaster slot­back Danny Van­der­voort, not a sur­pris­ing move given the re­cent re­tire­ment

of veteran Shawn Gore. The six-foot-two, 204-pound na­tive of Bar­rie, Ont., was a three-time Al­lCana­dian with the Ma­raud­ers.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats se­lected Cal­gary de­fen­sive line­man Con­nor McGough with the fourth se­lec­tion. The six-foot-two, 251-pound na­tive of Medicine Hat, Alta., had 31 tack­les and four sacks for the Di­nos last sea­son.

The Ed­mon­ton Eski­mos, in GM Brock Sun­der­land’s first draft with the club, took Car­leton re­ceiver Nate Be­hard with the fifth pick. The na­tive of Lon­don, Ont., had 57 catches for 788 yards and nine TDs last sea­son and twice was an All-Cana­dian.

The Cal­gary Stam­ped­ers ac­quired the No. 6 pick from Win­nipeg for the eighth and 34th se­lec­tions and took Gan­non Univer­sity de­fen­sive line­man Randy Colling, who also has prior ex­pe­ri­ence play­ing arena foot­ball. The 26-year-old was an All-Arena First Team pick in 2016.

B.C. made its sec­ond firstround se­lec­tion at No. 7 and used it on Mon­treal de­fen­sive line­man Ju­nior Luke. The six-foot-three, 234-pound Luke had 15.5 tack­les and six sacks last sea­son and fills a need for the Lions with Cana­dian Jabar Wester­man now with the Alou­ettes.

Win­nipeg then took a flyer on Gray, who’s cur­rently under con­tract with the Green Bay Pack­ers. The six-foot-five, 315-pound Win­nipeg na­tive, a me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing ma­jor, was a first-team All-Cana­dian with the Bisons.

Grey Cup-cham­pion Ot­tawa con­cluded the open­ing round by tak­ing Saskatchewan of­fen­sive line­man Evan John­son at No. 9. The six-foot-four, 280-pound Regina na­tive was a sec­ond-team All-Cana­dian last sea­son.

WIN­NIPEG BLUE BOMBERS PHOTO

The Win­nipeg Blue Bombers se­lected Iowa de­fen­sive line­man Faith Ekak­i­tie first over­all in the CFL draft, Sun­day.

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