This year’s CFL Draft seems to be filled with great Canadian talent. It is truly a testament to the growth in football across the country, and most importantly the growth of talent, coaching and interest in football in Canada. Two sets of brothers in both Tre and Tyrell Ford as well as Tyson and Jalen Philpot, alongside players like Deionte Knight, Tyrell Richards, Enock Makonzo, Daniel Adeboboye, Samuel Emilus, Zack Pelehos and Noah Zerr demonstrate the talent found in this year’s CFL Draft extremely well, and it goes on top of John Metchie, Jesse Luketa, Luiji Vilain and Patrice Rene that make their ways to the NFL from Canada as well. One player often forgotten in talks around the 2022 CFL Draft though would have to be American defensive back Jonathan Edouard.
Now people may look at that sentence and question whether or not he should even be in the draft. The CFL Draft is typically for Canadians only. When you take a glance at the draft prospects this year, the vast majority were born and raised in Canada and played University in Canada. Jonathan Edouard on the other hand was born and raised in Orlando, Florida in the United States. The reason why he is in the 2022 CFL Draft is because he has played a part of his University career at Carleton University in Ottawa, and has really shown out in each and every opportunity possible with the Ravens.
Edouard played the role of a lockdown corner and a special teams demon over his career at Carleton following the time he spent at Henderson State University at the division two level. He impressed a number of individuals over that time, and has had his eyes on the CFL since he came to Canada. When he came to Ottawa, first attending Carleton University and playing for the Ravens, he knew he was a trailblazer. The first of his kind, and hopefully the first of many Americans that choose to play University football in Canada for a better education and a path to the CFL. When talking about the CFL Regional Combine which he attended in March in Quebec he told JZ Media’s Jordan Zlomislic, “I didn’t get the numbers I would have liked to get, but what I did get was an experience of a lifetime.” explaining, “It was dreams to reality for me being at the CFL Combine. I’m an American, I did not grow up in Canada, I have no family there, and I came there with no friends, I’m a guy from Orlando, Florida at the CFL Combine, I’m a trailblazer. The first to do it. It felt great to be there after having my eyes on this opportunity when I got there.” Edouard’s final numbers at the regional combine included a 40 yard dash time of 4.58, 36.50 vertical jump, 6.82 3 cone time and a 4.30 shuttle time. Right out of the gate that day though, weighing in at just 161 pounds, a lot seemed off with Edouard.
As a player that plays physical and has weighed in much higher than that before, it didn’t seem right when Edouard weighed in at just 161 pounds, and it would give you the question whether or not he was 100% at the Combine.
He was 100% healthy. Nothing was wrong with him from the injury point of view, but while in Ottawa he was struggling to eat right and workout consistently like he once did. He wasn’t on schedule preparing for the Combine which set himself off from weighing in well and performing to his highest potential, but with all eyes now on CFL training camp he has fixed his situation. Right after finishing the CFL Combine in March, Jonathan Edouard jumped on a plane to Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he is now training with former NFL defensive back Ryan Clark with his DB Precision at Traction Sports. “Its amazing,” Edouard said about the opportunity he has in front of him, “I’ve known Ryan Clark for five years. He’s a friend of mine. He’s big bro, a mentor. I’ve come to train here a couple of times, and it’s awesome to be able to have the opportunity to train at his facility and soak up game from him and the other guys around me.”
Training with Edouard at the Traction Sports facility in Baton Rouge are a number of NFL defensive backs including NFL safety Landon Collins who he has built a good relationship with now, even staying at his house while training.
While training there, he has put on over 13 pounds of muscle, and claims to feel the best he’s ever felt in his life. He said, “I feel great.” in depth, “In the past when I’ve come here to train I have worked too hard and usually came out hurting somewhere. I’m now a few weeks into the training and I feel great everywhere. I feel the fastest I’ve ever felt. I am stronger than ever, and most importantly I feel like I’m ready to ball out.”
The NFL Draft is this weekend, and at 26 years old Jonathan Edouard may be a long shot to be drafted or sign an undrafted contract into the league, but he feels like he can play at that level. Training with some of the best defensive backs in the NFL as well, and looking up to par with them, there’s no saying he wouldn’t be a good pickup by an NFL team, and there should be no questions asked in CFL buildings on CFL Draft night next Tuesday. Edouard is a stud, and he has worked hard every single step of the way, he will continue to work hard and prove his worth at the next level as well.