The 2020 CFL draft is set to take place on Thursday, April 30 at 6:00 PM MT. The Edmonton Eskimos currently hold the fourth overall selection in the first round. We reached out to local and national media to get their opinion on who the Esks may select at fourth overall, here is what they said:
Dave Campbell – 630 CHED
LB Jordan Williams, East Carolina: Williams was able to squeeze in some good numbers at the Ontario Regional Combine before Covid-19 put sports and much of the world on the shelf. Williams recorded a 4.5, 40 time and a 39 inch vertical. 5’11, 218 pound linebacker recorded 252 total tackles in 45 career games as a three-year starter at East Carolina. Williams is from Fayettville, North Carolina but qualifies as National because his mother is Canadian. If the Eskimos are looking for a ratio-changing linebacker, Williams fits the bill.
Morley Scott – 630 CHED
OL Carter O’Donnell, University of Alberta: When the Eskimos turn rolls around at number 4 in the first round – look for not only an offensive lineman – but a local as well to get the Eskimos hat, but not the traditional handshake. Red Deer native and U of A Golden Bear Carter O’Donnell could be the Eskimos first pick in 2020. They may have to wait for him if the big O-lineman gets some NFL interest.
Reid Wilkins – 630 CHED
OL Tomas Jack-Kurdyla, Buffalo: Would love for the Esks to get Golden Bears offensive lineman Carter O’Donnell, but he’ll go first or second. They will get an offensive lineman. Tomas Jack-Kurdyla is 6’4″, 300-pounds, and started for almost his all of his four years at Buffalo.
Quinn Phillips – Global
DL Mason Bennett, North Dakota: Although Offensive lineman are the popular pick in the first round, the Eskies have a great rotation on the defensive line with an opportunity to rotate in and develop another Canadian defensive lineman.
Terry Jones – Edmonton Sun/Journal
OL Carter O’Donnell, University of Alberta: Highly impressive at Shrine Bowl. Only better Canadian picks in draft (Chase Claypool of Notre Dame and Neville Gallimore of Oklahoma) are going to go early in NFL draft. Red Deer native O’Donnell is probably going to have NFL interest. But a reasonable chance of ending up with him if you’re willing to wait. Eskimos have a good offensive line now and can wait and a year for O’Donnell on an NFL practice roster would count as development.
Note: Chase Claypool was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers and Neville Gallimore by the Dallas Cowboys.
Gerry Moddejonge – Edmonton Sun/Journal
DL Mason Bennett, North Dakota: As tempting as it may be to want to grab the rights to University of Alberta Golden Bears offensive lineman Carter O’Donnell out of their own backyard, the more prudent choice for the Edmonton Eskimos is to chase down defensive end Mason Bennett. The native of Winnipeg wouldn’t be out of place returning to the Prairies after proving himself an adept pass rusher as North Dakota’s Div. 1 leader in career sacks. At six-foot-four, 258 pounds, Bennett would complete a trifecta of standout Canadian pass rushers the Eskimos would then have the option of rotating through at both starting defensive end positions, following Mathieu Betts and Kwaku Boateng – the crown jewel on general manager Brock Sunderland’s draft resume here so far.
Dustin Neilson – TSN 1260
OL Carter O’Donnell, University of Alberta: I thought O’Donnell was going to be selected in last weeks NFL draft so the fact that he was only signed by the Colts should give CFL teams hope. If O’Donnell hadn’t signed in Indy he would have been the sure fire pick to go first overall so taking him 4th overall would provide some good value for the Eskimos. I know it’s risky to use a first round pick on a player who’s currently heading south of the border but the risk would be worth the reward in this situation. The Eskimos did the exact same thing last year with Mathieu Betts and less than 12 months later he is with the team and already has a few games under hit belt. It may be worth the risk again.
Dave Jamieson – TSN 1260
DB Marc-Antoine Dequoy, University of Montreal: Good size at 6-2, versatility throughout the secondary and can be an impact on teams. Can’t have enough Canucks like him on the roster.
Jason Gregor- TSN 1260
OL Ketel Asse, Laval: He has great footwork and the size Esks like. He can also play multiple positions on the offensive line.
Dan Barnes – Postmedia
DL Michael Hoecht, Brown: He signed a free agent deal with the L.A. Rams after the NFL draft, so the Eskimos might have to wait awhile for the 6-foot-4, 295-pounder to arrive. He’s the second-highest rated DL in the 2020 class and should be worth the wait.
Farhan Lalji – TSN
DB Marc-Antoine Dequoy, University of Montreal: Would be an athletic upgrade over any National currently on the roster in the defensive backfield.
Davis Sanchez – TSN
DL Mason Bennett, North Dakota: Quick with a powerful lower body immediately pro ready
John Hodge – 3DownNation
DL Mason Bennett, North Dakota: Bennett has a pro-ready frame at six-foot-four, 255 pounds and should contribute early in his career as a rotational defensive end and special teamer. The Winnipeg native recorded 128 tackles, 31.5 tackles for loss, 20 sacks, and one forced fumble in 43 games with the Fighting Hawks.
Edmonton could look to start two Canadian defensive ends this season following the off-season departure of Americans Nick Usher (Las Vegas) and Alex Bazzie (Toronto). Bennett would make the perfect rotational compliment for incumbent national pass rushers Kwaku Boateng and Mathieu Betts.
Check out John Hodge’s complete mock at 3DownNation right here.
Justin Dunk – 3DownNation
OL Tomas Jack-Kurdyla, Buffalo: The Eskimos need to enhance their depth along the interior of the offensive line and Jack-Kurdyla is ready to make an impact in 2020. A four-year starter with the Bulls, the six-foot-three, 302-pound blocker moves well for his size and excels in the run game. If he’s still available at fourth overall, Jack-Kurdyla would be a slam dunk for Edmonton.
JCAbbott – 3downNation
DE Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund, Southeastern Louisiana: An extremely productive player at the FCS level, Berglund is a high character guy and extremely intelligent, being named an Academic All-American his senior year for having the highest GPA at his position in the NCAA. He’s a versatile lineman who can win with power and would be a perfect compliment in Edmonton’s Canadian rotation alongside the likes of Boateng and Betts. He has the added advantage over other D-linemen of being an experienced special teams contributor, so Edmonton will get day one production whether or not he starts.