EDMONTON – The complete Canada West CFL Prospect Rankings were released Tuesday ahead of Thursday's CFL Draft, as the conference's top prospects wait to hear which CFL team calls their name on draft night.
The 20-player list was unveiled a day after the top five prospects were released in collaboration with 3 Down Nation. Voted on by coaches from the conference's six football programs, the rankings provide a glimpse into how the coaches view the top draft-eligible players from their Canada West competitors.
In terms of team representation, the Calgary Dinos were the top squad, landing a total of six players on the list. The conference power had four players listed inside the top 10, as offensive linemen Darius Ciraco (No. 4), and Ryan Sceviour (No. 5) were joined by linebacker Micah Teitz (No. 6), and defensive linemen Brett Wade (No. 9).
Both UBC and Regina came in just behind the Dinos when it came to players on the list, as five Thunderbirds and Rams made the cut, including No. 1 prospect Dakoda Shepley (OL) of UBC.
Among the Regina products to crack the rankings was running back Atlee Simon, who at No. 7 represented the highest rated offensive skill position player in the rankings. Simon is coming off a terrific season in the Queen City, as he averaged 114 rushing yards per game, and finished second in the conference rushing race with 914 yards.
SCOUTING BUREAU COMPARISON
The CW CFL Prospect Rankings have some similarities with the CFL Scouting Bureau's final rankings, which were released in the middle of April.
A total of five CW players were ranked by the CFL Scouting Bureau, which is comprised of CFL scouts, player personnel directors and general managers from the league's nine teams. UBC's Dakoda Shepley was the top CW player in the Scouting Bureau rankings at No. 3, followed by Alberta's Mark Korte at No. 6.
There were a few differences, however, as the CW rankings reversed the order between Calgary's Ciraco and Sceviour, as the Scouting Bureau rankings had Sceviour (No. 13) just ahead of Ciraco (No. 14).
Another difference was where the Scouting Bureau pegged Teitz and Alberta linemen Justin Lawrence. Teitz was ranked 19th in the Scouting Bureau rankings (No. 6 in the CW rankings), while Lawrence wasn't ranked on the CFL list (No. 5 in the CW rankings).
NEXT CROP OF CFL STARS
Last season a total of 19 Canada West players were selected in the CFL Draft. That total was the most for the conference ever in an eight-round draft, and second most al-time behind the 1985 draft, which saw 25 Canada West athletes selected in the nine-round affair.
Among the players selected in last year's draft was Alberta's Ed Ilnicki, who went 62nd overall to the Ottawa REDBLACKS. The Spruce Grove, Alta. native returned to Alberta last season for his fifth and final season with the Golden Bears. The running back made the most of another Canada West campaign, setting a conference single-season rushing record (1,468) en route to the Hec Crighton Trophy as the nation's top university player.
The CFL Draft is set for Thursday, May 3 at 6 p.m. MT (5 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. CT) with two-hours of coverage on TSN, with the later rounds available on TSN.ca and TSN GO.
TOP FIVE CW CFL PROSPECTS
# POS NAME SCHOOL POINTS (first-place votes)
1. OL Dakoda Shepley UBC 123 (4)
2. OL Mark Korte ALBERTA 122 (2)
3. OL Darius Ciraco CALGARY 114
4. OL Ryan Sceviour CALGARY 107*
5. OL Justin Lawrence ALBERTA 107
6. LB Micah Teitz CALGARY 102
7. RB Atlee Simon REGINA 95
8. DB Dagogo (Will) Maxwell UBC 88*
9. DL Brett Wade CALGARY 88
10. S/HB Jayden McKoy MANITOBA 82
11. REC Marcus Davis UBC 78
12. LB Boston Rowe CALGARY 74
13. REC Will Watson UBC 73
14. OL Levi Hua UBC 68
15. LB Danny Nesbitt REGINA 67
16. DL Joel Van Pelt CALGARY 58
17. REC Mitch Thompson REGINA 54
18. DL Tristian Koronkiewicz SASK. 53
19. QB Noah Picton REGINA 52
20. DL Eric Wicijowski REGINA 46
- First-place vote worth 25 points, second-place 24 etc.
- Higher ranking based on greater number of higher placed votes
Coaches rank all draft-eligible players excluding their own