Most mockups floating about the ether suggest the Toronto Argonauts will kick off the Canadian Football League draft on Thursday night by selecting an offensive lineman.
It comes as no surprise, since the crop is a good one and an O lineman has been first off the board 14 times since 1985, the highest number by position. Here are some other draft numbers of interest:
12 — Barring a trade, the Argos will make their 12th No. 1 overall choice. The rest of the first round in order is as follows: Hamilton, Edmonton, Winnipeg (via B.C.), Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, Ottawa, Calgary.
1997 — Last time Toronto had the No. 1 pick. They selected Utah offensive lineman Chad Folk. Through 12 CFL seasons he played 195 games, all with the Argos.
8 — Rounds in this draft.
73 — Picks in this draft.
1 — Forfeited pick. Montreal gave up its first-rounder to select Oregon offensive lineman Tyler Johnstone in the 2018 supplemental draft.
2 — Territorial picks; the first since 1984. In the second round, Toronto gets the 10th selection, Montreal the 11th.
67 — Previous incarnations of the draft.
47 — Years since a Montreal franchise had the first pick. In 1972, the Alouettes chose Bishop’s running back Larry Smith at No. 1. He would eventually become their team president and a CFL commissioner and is now a member of the Senate. Smith played 140 games, most by any player in his draft class. In fact, he never missed a game in his nine seasons in the league.
10 — Hamilton’s first overall picks since 1973, the most in the league. All other teams but Montreal have had at least three No. 1 picks since 1973.
4 — Running backs taken first overall since 1956. Smith was joined by Western Ontario’s Mike Kirkley (Toronto in 1982), Simon Fraser’s Orville Lee (Ottawa in 1988) and Simon Fraser’s Sean Millington (Edmonton in 1990).
2 — Hec Crighton Trophy winners drafted first overall; receiver Mike Eben of the Toronto Varsity Blues (1968 by B.C.) and Calgary Dinosaurs receiver Don Blair (1996 by Edmonton). The Crighton award goes to the most outstanding U Sports (formerly CIS) player.
2 — Commissioner Randy Ambrosie’s draft position in 1985. He was an offensive lineman out of Manitoba, chosen by Calgary, and played 142 games. Concordia offensive lineman Nick Benjamin went first overall to Ottawa and played 131 games. For the first time since 1972, the first round was not preceded by territorial exemptions.
1, 4, 6 — Jonathan Kongbo’s rankings on the September, December and final CFL Scouting Bureau list of the top-20 draft prospects. The Tennessee defensive lineman tore an ACL last October.
11 — Brayden Lenius-Dickey’s ranking on the final CFL Scouting Bureau top-20. He’s a 6-foot-5, 245-pound receiver with an athletic lineage. His late father Troy was a receiver for the University of Arizona and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. His late grandfather Eldridge Dickey was the first African-American quarterback selected in the first round of the NFL draft, taken 25th overall by Oakland in 1968.
5 — CFL national combine participants who listed law enforcement as their chosen career if they weren’t playing football: Montreal DB Kerfalla Exume, Wilfrid Laurier receiver Kurleigh Gittens Jr., Guelph OL Eric Starczala, Nevada OL Kyle Saxelid and Windsor OL Drew Desjarlais.
8 — Quarterbacks chosen in the draft and by territorial exemption in 1973. There have only been nine QBs drafted between 2000 and 2018.
7 — Offensive linemen drafted in the first round in 2018. Receiver Mark Chapman went to Hamilton first overall, defensive lineman Julien Laurent to B.C. at No. 7.
7 — Kickers drafted in 1988, including Tony Martino seventh overall to B.C. and Mark McLoughlin 20th to Calgary.
25 — Defensive backs selected in 1970, the highest single-year total.
26 –— Players who have been selected in more than one CFL draft. The leaders in this category are McGill offensive lineman Garnett Bertrand and Ottawa offensive lineman Paul Desjardins, with three apiece. Bertrand was chosen 25th by Montreal in 1953, 20th by Hamilton in 1954 and 30th by Saskatchewan in 1958. Desjardins went 30th to Montreal in 1963, eighth to Hamilton in 1964 and second to Winnipeg in 1965.
65 — Terry Baker’s draft position in 1984. The kicker/punter out of Mount Allison and Acadia was selected by Montreal and played 278 games for Saskatchewan, Ottawa, Toronto and the Als. He is the only eighth-round selection in CFL history to lead his draft class in games played.
87 — Percentage of players drafted in 2012 (39 of 45) who played at least one game in the CFL or were on a team’s injured list. It’s the highest percentage in draft history. The lowest was 11% in 1957.
113 — Players chosen in the regular draft and as territorial exemptions in 1976. It’s the highest single-year total in CFL history. There were just 22 players taken in 1959.
238 — Games played by Saskatchewan GM Jeremy O’Day, the former O lineman who was taken by Toronto in the 1997 supplemental draft. He leads that draft class in games played.
4,017 — Players chosen in regular and supplemental drafts, and by territorial exemption, from 1952 to 2018. Of those, 1,739 or 43%, have played at least one game in the league or were on a team’s injured list.
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