Montreal Alouettes Canadian Content Analysis Heading into 2015 CFL Draft
by Dan McLaughlin (aka Childress)
The Alouettes were clearly in the rebuilding mold in 2014. Gone is Anthony Cavillio to retirement, they are onto their third head coach since the departure of Marc Trestman at the end of the 2012 season, and many other players have come and gone over the past couple seasons. Heading into 2015 sees the Als with more stability as Tom Higgins has solidified the head coaching position. When it comes to their Canadian content, Jim Popp has done well with the CFL draft over the years and has the Als sitting in a good position.
Als' starting Canadians in 2014:
Players added with starting potential:
Based on 2014, their distribution of starting Canadians per game was: 5 OL, 1 WR, 1 DB, .1 RB. Montreal should be able to distribute their talent in a similar fashion in 2015. They have selections at 4,13, 31, 36, 40, 48, and 57.
Position by position breakdown:
Position by position breakdown:
Receiver: The Als to start a Canadian receiver and the position was shared between Dave Stala and Eric Deslauriers last season. Now with Stala's departure, this leaves an opening for another player. Free agent signee Sam Giguere will push Deslauriers for the starting position. Kyle Graves and Andrew Smith are two additional receivers competing for roster spots in 2015. Though not an urgent need, Montreal could certainly add to their Canadian receiving depth in the upcoming draft.
Running back: Montreal has two Canadian running backs on their roster in Carl Volny and Jean-Christopher Beaulieu. Both look to compete for special teams/backup positions on the Als as they look to go with an import with their starting running back. There is no real need at this position, but the Als could choose to upgrade the position through the draft.
Fullback: The Als have three veteran fullbacks on their roster in Martin Bedard, Bryn Roy, and Samuel Fournier. There isn't a great need for another.
Offensive line: When it comes to the ratio, the Als offensive line is the envy of the league. They started five Canadian offensive linemen in every game last year and look poised to continue in 2015. Their starting five also managed to stay incredibly healthy - as only one start was missed from all five starters - which is absolutely amazing. Behind the starting group are Jake Piotrowski, Simon Legare, Ryan White, and Phillip Blake who are more than capable of providing the necessary depth along with developing into future starters. The Als do not need to draft an offensive lineman. However, I wouldn't rule it out because when they choose to start five of their seven Canadians at that position, they will always need to be replenishing the talent pipeline.
Defensive line: Montreal starting an all import front four in 2015. Their Canadian talent needs to contribute to the rotation and provide depth. Michael Klassen and Jeff Finley are the only Canadian defensive linemen that the Als have and they are both defensive tackles. The Als could use more, and so this is an area of need heading into the draft. A Canadian defensive end would give them more ratio flexibility.
Linebacker: Montreal starts three imports at linebacker. They do have Kyle Norris, Nick Boulay, and Jon Beaulieu-Richard who have all primarily been special teams players. Though not an urgent need, Montreal may want to add to their Canadian talent at linebacker.
Defensive back: Montreal likes to play a Canadian at safety and they have two great candidates for the position. Mike Edem started in 2013 and was the Eastern all star and Montreal's nominee for outstanding Canadian. In 2014, Marc-Olivier Brouillette, Montreal's Outstanding Rookie in 2010, won the starting position. There is no doubt that the battle for the safety position between these two will be a heated one and the Als are guaranteed to have a top safety. In addition to these two, the Als have undrafted free agent Jamahl Knowles and second rounder Andrew Lue providing depth and special teams work. I do not expect the Als to take a defensive back as they have great talent and depth already.
Kicker/Punter: Montreal has left the punting and kicking in the capable hands of Sean Whyte and there is no reason to think he will not be doing both jobs in 2015. The Als also have for injury insurance Nick Boyd. I would be surprised if the Als drafted a kicker or punter.
Popp has stocked the Als with excellent Canadian talent. He may look to add a receiver, offensive lineman, linebacker, and/or defensive lineman in the draft - though none are an urgent need.