By Doug Kennedy
It lasted three days, Thursday and Friday nights and finishing on Saturday afternoon. A couple of Canadians went in the first three rounds, which is good. Wide receiver Chase Claypool from Abbottsford, British Columbia went in the second round to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He had a really good college career playing for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Dallas Cowboys drafted defensive lineman and Ottawa native Neville Gllimore, who played for the Oklahoma Sooners in the NCAA. He joins fellow Canadians Tyrone Crawford, who plays on the Cowboys defensive line and Christian Covington who is a defensive tackle. Kincardine’s biggest Cowboys fan is Curtis Gauthier, who should be happy about all the Canadians playing for the Cowboys. He might not be happy with how the Dallas team has underachieved the last few years. New head coach, Mike McCarthy, might get them a few more wins this fall. He won a Super Bowl in Green Bay, so he should help the Cowboys be better. In my opinion, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones blew it when he fired his old college friend Jimmy Johnson years ago.
Miami had three picks in the first round. If they get it right, these three picks can really help the Dolphins. Ainsdale owner Charles Candler is a big Miami fan. He thinks if Tua Tagovailoa can stay healthy he will be a premier passer in the NFL. Tua was a big star for Alabama the last couple years. He also thinks with Tom Brady gone, the fish will have a shot at winning the division in the next few years. Stay tuned.
There were 14 Canadians playing in the NFL last year. Seven of those players are from Ontario. Kincardine resident Kirsten Grohs, who is the manager of football operations for the Atlanta Falcons, said the new rules in the NFL allow a 10-year veteran to be on a practice squad. This 10 player practice squad in the past was used for rookies or maybe second year players. The NFL also expanded rosters. All these new rules will hurt the CFL. The CFL will lose players that were coming north for more development before going back to the NFL. With the COVID-19 still in its early stages, it will be unlikely for the CFL to have a season. The CFL does not have the TV contracts and big sponsorship the NFL does. I do not think they could afford to play in empty stadiums.
Four Canadians were signed as free agents after the draft by NFL teams. Carter O’Donnell from the University of Alberta was signed by the Indianapolis Colts. Mac-Antonie Dequoy from Montreal was signed by Green Bay. Michael Hoecht from Brown University was signed by the LA Rams and Rysen John from Simon Fraser University was signed by the NY Giants.
I have been in a fantasy player pool the last 40 years with a group of friends from St. Mary’s. You can protect 10 players each year and we have a draft every August. I have won a few times over the years but the last few years I am closer to the bottom than the top. I used to have some great players over the years including Jerry Rice, Brett Favre and Drew Bress. Rice was the best pick I ever made .Last year I ended up last so I am going to pick Joe Burrow as my pick. It has been a few years since I won so I will have to be a Cincinnati Bengal fan going forward. Burrow looks like the real deal. He is from a small town in Ohio. Joe went to Ohio State University for three years but did not get a chance to start while playing sparingly. He transferred to LSU and led them to a national championship last year in an undefeated season while winning the Heisman trophy. His dad, Jim, won a Grey Cup with the Montreal Alouettes in 1997 in front of 68,318 fans at Olympic Stadium. He played in the CFL for five seasons. He was a defensive back coach at Ohio University for 14 years before retiring. He played his college career at Nebraska along with his oldest two sons.
Thumbs up to Brendon Shanahan, who wants to see the finish of the NHL season and the playoffs in empty arenas. Thumbs up to the NFL for having their draft safely through this tragic time in our history.
Thumbs up to the NHL, who are looking into playing in just a few locations to try to keep teams and staff safe. My first question would be if the best player gets COVID-19, what happens? NHL vice president of operations, John Daly, says they have a plan for this, but didn’t explain. This will be a question for all pro sports going forward. Thumbs down to the NBA for opening their training facilities in some states. This is unfair to players that cannot train. They should all open together when it is safe for everyone.