Lemar Durant on draft, "One of the most shocking things I have ever been through"

SFU receiver Lemar Durant was taken 18th overall in Tuesday's CFL draft. (GNACsports.com.)

One of the more surprising stories from Tuesday's 2015 CFL draft was the fall of Simon Fraser University receiver Lemar Durant, who many projected as the top receiver in the draft and a potential first-round pick, but who wound up being the fourth receiver taken, going 18th overall to the Calgary Stampeders. This came as a surprise to Durant, too, as illustrated by his tweets and the tweets he retweeted Tuesday before and after he was drafted.

This reaction isn't necessarily a mark against Durant. His reaction's human, and in some ways, it's good that he let his disappointment show rather than just sticking to politically correct comments about not caring about where he went. Moreover, it's not like this was a surprise to only him, or that his opinion of his own talents and where he thought he'd likely go was off; most outside evaluators had him very highly pegged, and the CFL's final prospect rankings (an average of rankings from the nine teams) had him ranked eighth, ahead of the three receivers taken above him. Nic Demski, ranked ninth, was taken sixth overall, Jake Harty, ranked 18th, was taken 11th overall, and Addison Richards, ranked 12th, was taken 11th overall.

That doesn't mean any of those receivers are less worthy than Durant. The CFL rankings are far from a be-all and end-all when it comes to the draft. Moreover, each of them have some advantages over Durant; in particular, they all played in CIS, so they're used to Canadian football and its motion rules, while Durant's admitted that's something he's had to work to learn so far. Still,  Durant has advantages of his own, especially when it comes to measurables, and his disappointment is definitely understandable.

With that said, the key question may be where Durant goes from here. If he lets this get to him too much, it might get his CFL career off to a poor start. He also can't assume he's entitled to anything based on what he's done to this point; professional football's often a journey of earning your roster spot each day, and CFL players need to keep that in mind. On the other hand, though, this might provide some excellent motivation for Durant to show up his critics and the teams that passed on him. He was shocked by CFL teams Tuesday; we'll see if he's able to reverse that shock in the months and years to come.

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