Calgary Stampeders Canadian Content Analysis Heading into 2015 CFL Draft
by Dan McLaughlin (aka Childress)
As the Grey Cup Champions, the Stampeders have a deep pool of Canadian talent. This has afforded them the ability to be patient with their picks over the years. Even though they lost valuable Canadians LB Keenan McDougall, WR Brad Sinopoli (who have excellent chances at starting for their new clubs) and the CFL's Outstanding Lineman Brett Jones who signed in the NFL, the Stampeders look to have capable replacements. Choices made at the draft will be with an eye to the future.
Stampeders' starting Canadians in 2014:
Free Agents signed with starting potential:
Based on 2014, their distribution of starting Canadians per game was: 3.9 OL, 1 FB, 1 DT, .8 RB, .7 WR. With that combination yeilding a championship and with most Canadian starters returning or with the obvious heir apparent, it is likely the Stampeders will distribute their Canadians in a similar manner in 2015.
Next we will do a position by position breakdown:
Next we will do a position by position breakdown:
Receiver: The Stampeders have three good Canadian receivers in Parker, Arthur, and Charbonneau-Campeau. Three is the fewest number of Canadian receivers that any CFL team has on their roster and this is partly due to the loss of Sinopoli and Bauman. This is definately an area of need for the Stampeders in the 2015 CFL draft. I would expect them to add at least one and likely two receivers through this year's draft.
Running back: The Stampeders have one of the best running backs of all-time in Canadian Jon Cornish. Because he was only able to play nine games in 2014, injuries have to be a concern heading into 2015. Fortunately, the Stamps have an emerging talent in Matt Walter who started six games last year and is ready to step in. Behind Walter is Bo Palmer who was drafted by Hamilton in 2012 and has yet to see action in a CFL game. I could see the Stampeders having some interest in a running back such as Tyler Varga who is expected to be chosen in the NFL draft and not be available to the CFL for a least a few years. They are in a situation where they can wait, and Varga could be their next starting Canadian running back in a few years.
Fullback: The Stampeders have three good fullbacks. Their starter, one of the league's best, is Rob Cote who at only 28, should have several good years ahead of him. Cote's backup, Tim St. Pierre, has played well when called upon and also doubles as a long-snapper. Charlie Power is a young player the Stampeders have been developing the past two seasons. With three dedicated fullbacks on the roster, the Stampeders have as many as any team and are unlikely to add a fourth.
Offensive line: The Stampeders will likely be starting four offensive linemen this season, and have a good group to fill those positions. Wilson, Bergman, Lavertu, Craighead, and Federkeil all started games for the Stampeders last year and they have the luxury of choosing four among that quintet. Erdos, Peach, and Swiston all will provide depth. However, they are losing Brett Jones to the NFL, and they may want to replace him. The goal of every team is to start five Canadian offensive linemen, and the Stampeders may have this on their mind as they make their draft selection. Every team who starts the majority of their Canadians on the offensive line will always have to be replenishing the talent at that position.
Defensive line: The Stamps start one Canadian defensive tackle and have three good ones to choose from in Corey Mace, Junior Turner, and Quinn Smith. So there is not a big need here. Some have suggested that with Turner’s contract up at the end of the season and Mace turning 30 this year with some bad injuries in his history and that the Stamps may be interested in adding to the depth at defensive tackle. At defensive end, the Stampeders have Ben D’Aguilar and Derek Wiggan. D’Aguilar will be expected to take a step forward this season, his third, as he was a highly touted player in his draft year. Wiggan will need to show he is a good special teams player to stick with the Stampeders.
Linebacker: The Stampeders play imports at both the weak-side and middle linebacking positions. The off-season trade that brought import linebacker Jasper Simmons - the REDBLACKS MOP is another reason that the Stampeders Canadian linebackers are not likely to play much defense. The Stampeders have Karl McCartney who has shown himself to be a great special teams player and a good situational linebacker. They have Yannick Carter, who is a veteran special teams player. Shomari Williams is a former #1 overall pick in the CFL draft and has shown himself to be a versatile defender and an excellent special teamer. Lastly is Max Caron, who was drafted by the Stampeders last year and was having a great training camp when he was hurt and missed the season. I don’t see any room for another linebacker for the Stampeders. It may be difficult for them to find places for all four of them as it is.
Defensive back: The Stampeders did not start any Canadians in the secondary and are unlikely to do so in 2015. They do have veteran Jeff Hecht, who has proven himself to be a great special teams player and a good situational safety. They also have Adam Berger and Adam Thibault who are two younger players who have impressed. Because the Stampeders choose not to start any Canadian defensive backs, I doubt they would look at adding one with one of their early picks.
Kicker/Punter: At punter, the Stampeders have one of the league’s best in Rob Maver. At kicker, the Stamps have Rene Parades who was a record setter in 2013, but had an off year in 2014. He is expected to bounce back. To compete with Parades, the Stamps drafted in 2014 Tyler Crapigna who looked very good in training camp and is likely a future CFLer in Calgary or elsewhere. The Stampeders are unlikely to select a kicker or punter in 2015.
The Stampeders main area of need is at receiver. They also could use an offensive lineman, particularly an offensive tackle. Due to the Stampeders depth, they may choose to take players expected to head to the NFL as they can afford to be patient.