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Ferguson: 10 perfect fits in the CFL Draft

What is a draft fit?

Positional targeting, squad building, a mix of personalities and maybe even a bit of local cuisine? It is that and more.

MORE CFL DRAFT COVERAGE
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2024 featured a deep and talented draft class where, in my opinion, more than a few dozen players found their right fit.

Here are my 10 favorites.

Joel Dublanko | 1st overall | Cincinnati | Linebacker | Edmonton Moose

When almost everyone in consensus kept saying that Joel Dublanko would probably be the first pick, I was skeptical. Not because Dublanko doesn’t fit the mold of a top-notch player who can run down the field, or because the Elks wouldn’t be willing to use the No. 1 spot on a linebacker, but because every time something seems so easy in the season of the draft, you have to wonder why in a business where difference of opinion is like breathing.

Turns out it was that easy with the local family, the matching mentality with the coaching staff and the win now mentality on both sides make a perfect combination.

Kevin Mital | 5th overall | Lavalle | Receiver | Toronto Argonauts

While other teams were addressing needs and improving what they needed, Kevin Mital fell into the hands of the Argos, who will find ways to get him touches and use his ready body to improve their offense in a variety of ways.

It felt good as soon as Calgary picked fourth overall and it still feels like a steal considering what should be a seamless transition to the CFL for the 2022 Hec Creighton Trophy award winner.

Anu Una | 6th overall | Windsor | Offensive line | BC Lions

The Lions needed length and physicality at left guard along their offensive line and Una provides that and more after helping the Windsor Lancers return to form in 2023 with a demanding running game.

Could we see Una help William Stanback create a more balanced Lions offense than he had imagined in Week 1?

Christy Nkanu | 8th overall | Washington State | Offensive line | Calgary Stampers

Along the same lines as BC above, but with the added applause for being willing to make a trade. Calgary gave up 13th and 14th overall for 8th and 28th overall to land the last of three linemen they deemed worthy of a first-round grade.

Aggression and accuracy is what the CFL draft is all about and now we look forward to seeing how Christy Nkanu adapts to the Stampeders’ right guard spot.

Daniel Okpoko | 11th overall | San Diego State | Defensive line | Ottawa RED&BLACKS

Daniel Okpoko was one of the standouts of the defensive line group at the CFL Combine in Winnipeg (Cameron Bartlett/CFL.ca)

Cleyon Laing is not getting any younger and the REDBLACKS should not be hampered by the possibility of an injury to the defensive line causing upheaval in the squad. Somehow, the talented and burly Daniel Okpoko landed in the second round, where the REDBLACKS were able to pair him with second overall receiver Nick Mardner.

This is a great example of how to not contact a player you love and let them come to you.

Nick Wiebe | 12th overall | Saskatchewan | Linebacker | Saskatchewan Rough Riders

Nick Wiebe stays in familiar territory after being drafted by the Saskatchewan Roughriders (Huskies Athletics)

Coming back from an injury, this was always going to be the perfect spot for Nick Wiebe, but the respect shown by Saskatchewan not being willing to wait past the second round is what really cements this game in prairie heaven.

Kevens Clercius | 13th overall | University of Connecticut | Receiver | Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Michael Chris-Ike | 14th overall | State of Delaware | Corridor | Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Michael Chris-Ike impressed at the CFL Combine in March (Andrew Mahon/CFL.ca)

With the picks acquired from Calgary, the Bombers got back-to-back physical displays.

Both Kevens Clercius and Michael Chris-Ike have solid special teams experience and are willing to do whatever it takes to build a roster while developing their potential as offensive position players. I can’t wait to see them BOTH in uniform this season after landing in the perfect spot.

Lucas Brubacher | 16th overall | Wilfrid Laurier Defensive line | Hamilton tiger-cats

Luke Brubacher participated in the CFL Combine earlier this spring in Winnipeg (Cameron Bartlett/CFL.ca)

From nearby Listowel, Ontario, this former Golden Hawk finds a great home alongside Mason Bennett and Anthony Federico as he hones his craft and breaks out in the CFL when the time is right.

Frederick Antoine | 47th overall | Lavalle | Receiver | Montreal Alouettes

Frederik Antoine had the most bench press reps of all receivers at the CFL Combine in Winnipeg with 21 (Cameron Bartlett/CFL.ca)

I knew it would end up in Montreal, but I wasn’t sure when, but WOW! What a valuable choice for Danny Maciocia and company.

The pass catcher from Laval is a supreme athlete who is ready and waiting to step out of the shadow of his former teammate Mital and start making plays for the Als.

Kaylyn St-Cyr | 69th overall | Montreal | Defensive back | Calgary Stampers

How will Kaylyn St-Cyr fit into the Calgary Stampeders roster this season? (Montreal Athletics)

When Calgary committed to defensive back fourth overall with McGill’s Benjamin Labrosse, I wondered where the rest of the draft would take them.

After taking on other positions of need, they returned Kaylyn St-Cyr, who projects as a deep safety with starting potential in a year or two. She’ll have to stay healthy on special teams first, but Calgary is back in the Canadian free safety game after pairing these two RSEQ studs.