Following this weekend's CFL Combine, much of the focus shifts towards May 10's draft. While most of the prospects at the very top of the league's December rankings either didn't attend this combine or attended without participating in drills, there were still plenty of impressive players who did take part, and many of them did a lot to potentially boost their draft stock. Here are six whose showings stood out the most:
Shaquille Johnson, receiver, McGill Redmen/Western Mustangs/London Beefeaters: Johnson is a fascinating prospect who broke Andy Fantuz's CIS record for receptions by a rookie with 61 in 2012 at McGill and won CIS rookie of the year despite playing for the 2-7 Redmen, but then transferred to Western following academic issues, played for the Mustangs in 2014, and then quit school to work full-time thanks to family issues, but played junior football with the London Beefeaters last year. He wasn't really on the CFL radar until this last week, though, going unranked in the prospect list and not receiving an initial invitation to the national combine. He was one of eight players to work their way in from the Toronto regional combine, and the 11-foot broad jump and 4.39-second 40 time he put up there proved to be better than any results recorded at the actual national combine. (Johnson did pretty well there too, though, posting a 4.56 time that was third-best on the day.) At 5'11'' and 178 pounds, Johnson isn't the biggest guy out there, but he's definitely shown speed and explosiveness. He posted a good vertical jump of 34.5 inches this weekend too, tied for fifth-best (counting regional marks). His combine performance might be key to getting himself drafted.
Philippe Gagnon, offensive lineman, Laval Rouge et Or: Gagnon dominated the bench press Saturday, posting 40 reps. That was the third-best number all-time at a CFL combine, and no one else managed more than 27. At 6'3'' and 317 pounds, Gagnon has the size to potentially play tackle in the pros, and this result showed he has plenty of strength too. He already had pretty solid draft stock, earning the CFL Scouting Bureau's #15 ranking in September and moving up to #13 in December, and his bench result could help him further.Read More »from Six of the most impressive CFL Combine performances