51 play­ers strut stuff for scouts

National Post (National Edition) - - SPORTS - Dan Barnes Post­media News [email protected]­media.com Twit­ter.com/sports­dan­barnes

A weighted lot­tery will de­ter­mine which Cana­dian Foot­ball League team se­lects the first Mex­i­can player in a ground­break­ing draft on Mon­day in Mex­ico City.

“We thought it would be an­other fun el­e­ment,” CFL Com­mis­sioner Randy Ambrosie told Post­media on Thurs­day.

“Un­der tra­di­tional rules the team with the poor­est record would nor­mally pick first. What that team is go­ing to get is nine balls in the bin.”

That team is the Toronto Arg­onauts. And, in fol­low­ing the waiver pri­or­ity list, the Mon­treal Alou­ettes will have eight balls in the bin, the Hamil­ton Tiger-Cats seven, Ed­mon­ton Eski­mos six, B.C. Lions five, Win­nipeg Blue Bombers four, Saskatchewan Roughrid­ers three, Ot­tawa Red­blacks two and the Grey Cup cham­pion Cal­gary Stam­ped­ers just the one.

The length of Mon­day’s draft it­self has yet to be de­ter­mined, and will be in­flu­enced by the level of tal­ent on dis­play at Sun­day’s player com­bine at Es­ta­dio Azul. Fifty-one Mex­i­can play­ers from the coun­try’s lone pro­fes­sional league and uni­ver­sity ranks will work out for CFL scouts and staff. They will per­form a 225-pound bench press, ver­ti­cal jump, broad jump, 40-yard dash, three-cone, short shut­tle and po­si­tional drills. They will also be in­ter­viewed by CFL team per­son­nel.

“Once the coaches and GMs have had a chance to do their as­sess­ment we’ll sit down as a group and de­ter­mine how many rounds of the draft there will be,” said Ambrosie.

“We are think­ing of two dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories. We want the teams to draft play­ers they think can po­ten­tially come to train­ing camp and make a dif­fer­ence on a CFL ros­ter this year.

“And the se­cond group will be a group of young men who might not be ready to come to a CFL camp this year but this would al­low the teams to cre­ate a re­la­tion­ship with these young men and it might con­nect them to their coaches and start a dis­cus­sion about some de­vel­op­ment re­quire­ments around get­ting big­ger and stronger, and work­ing on tech­niques that would help these play­ers get bet­ter.”

The orig­i­nal plan had been for the nine CFL teams to draft up to two play­ers each. It now looks far more likely there will be four play­ers cho­sen per team, for a to­tal of 36.

The po­si­tional break­down of the 51 com­bine in­vi­tees is as fol­lows: 12 re­ceivers, 10 de­fen­sive line­men, seven DBs, six LBs, five of­fen­sive line­men, four kick­ers, three RBs, three QBs and one full­back.

Re­ceiver Aldo Nar­vaez is the small­est player on the com­bine list, at 5-foot-6, 154 pounds. Of­fen­sive line­man Dario Martinez is the big­gest, at 6-foot-2, 330.

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