The Alain B. Cimankinda Story Part 1: Started From The Bottom now available on YouTube

On Tuesday May 4th at approximately 10:00 PM EDT in the nation’s capital Alain Cimankinda got a call from his agent Fred Weinrauch informing him that he’d been drafted by the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders with the 35th overall selection in the 2021 CFL Draft. Cimankinda soaked in draft night with a group of family and friends, really having the opportunity to look back at the long journey it took to get that call indicating that he is now a professional athlete. He commented, “It was amazing to be with my family for this moment. When you look at my journey, the last 7 or 8 years I have been away from home so to provide this experience with my family was amazing.”

The journey started in the Congo where Alain was born into a family of 12, then continued in Ottawa, Canada, the city that he and the Cimankinda family moved to at a young age. Alain Cimankinda faced several trials and tribulations over the span of his youth, having grown up in the projects of Ottawa it was tough sometimes for him to see a successful career at the end of the tunnel but as he got older, started to make good choices and hang around the right crowds it became easier for him to envision himself in a better position in the future. A position he saw himself in a lot growing up was where he is now as a professional football player, “I made it a goal of mine as a kid to make it pro in football.” said Cimankinda after getting drafted into the CFL in the 2021 CFL Draft. He began to play football with NCAFA’s Bel Air Lions where he played for Coach Mike Gelineau Jr, then made his way through a few other teams in Ottawa like the Neapen Redskins (now the Eagles) and Myers Riders. Gelineau Jr made a comment in the documentary saying, “Just getting to know him at first you could tell he’s all in, thats just his character.” All in is one way you can put it, and a great way to put it now seeing how far his character and mindset has taken him. Through NCAFA, OVFL, CEGEP, JUCO and U-Sports football all the way to the CFL, Cimankinda’s journey on the field is just as long as it has been off of it and at 25 years old his journey is just getting started.

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Coaches, teammates, friends and family members all will be featured in The Alain B. Cimankinda Story to tell their parts of the long journey that Alain has travelled thus far. Being worked on by Ronny Musikitele of Skyline Sports Global, Jordan Zlomislic at JZ Media and Vado Visuals’ Eldrinson Vado, part one is now accessible to watch on YouTube where you will be able to be inspired by Cimankinda’s upbringing in Ottawa. Watch him walk around the neighbourhood which he called home for a large amount of time in his childhood and hear from him as well as some of those closest to him to learn more about what his childhood in Ottawa was like on and off of the football field.

Parts two, three, four and five will be coming out in the following weeks, be ready for that and stay up to date with all Alain Cimankinda documentary news and more at https://jzmedia.ca/

29 Canadians in the NFL, a positional breakdown

N'Keal Harry trade interest: Patriots fielding trade inquiries on WR

This 2021 NFL off-season we have been able to see 8 Canadian athletes sign contracts in the NFL. Prior to Friday, April 30th 2021 there were 21 Canadians set to play in the NFL in the 2021 NFL season but with eight players either drafted or signed following the draft now entering the NFL from Canada, there is 29 Canadian athletes set to put the helmets on for the 2021 NFL season. Of the 29 players, the only two positions without a Canadian in the NFL are quarterback and punter, meaning there is at least one Canadian at every other position in the NFL, but what does the positional breakdown look like? Check it out below.

EIGHT offensive skill position players: 4 tight ends, 3 wide receivers, 1 running back.

Abbotsford's Chase Claypool catches two touchdowns in Steelers win –  Abbotsford News

FOURTEEN linemen: 7 offensive linemen, 7 defensive linemen.

Gallimore "Physical & Impactful" in Breakout Game

THREE defensive backs: 2 cornerbacks, 1 safety.

Tevaughn Campbell scores TD, stops another to save Chargers - Los Angeles  Times

TWO special teamers: 1 long snapper, 1 kicker

Long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur will set Canadian record with 251st career NFL  game - The Globe and Mail

TWO linebackers

Former CFL star Alex Singleton is the best linebacker on the Eagles roster  | 3DownNation

Over one week past the 2021 NFL Draft, a look in at the eight Canadians introduced and a full list of Canadians in the NFL

Abbotsford's Chase Claypool catches two touchdowns in Steelers win –  Abbotsford News

After the 2021 NFL Draft last weekend which went from April 29th through May 1st there had been 8 Canadians introduced into the NFL. Four of which were drafted in the draft, Chuba Hubbard, Benjamin St Juste, Joshua Palmer and Jevon Holland tied a record of four Canadians drafted into the NFL Draft, set in 2014 with Brent Urban, John Urshel, TJ Jones and Laurent Duvernay Tardif. The other four, Bruno Labelle, Alaric Jackson, Amen Ogbongbemiga as well as U-Sports offensive lineman Pier-Olivier Lestage were signed following the NFL Draft as un-drafted free agents and as a group of eight they are among 29 Canadians going into the NFL for the 2021 NFL season.

Here is the full list of NFL players with Canadian ties.

  • Defensive lineman Eli Ankou of Ottawa, Ontario (current free agent)
  • Tight End Anthony Auclair of Notre-Dame-des-Pins, Quebec (Houston Texans)
  • Wide Receiver Chase Claypool of Abbotsford, British Columbia (Pittsburgh Steelers)
  • Defensive lineman Christian Covington of Vancouver, British Columbia (LA Chargers)
  • Defensive Back Tevaughn Campbell of Scarborough, Ontario (LA Chargers)
  • Offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif of Montreal, Quebec (Kansas City Chiefs)
  • Offensive lineman Carter O’Donnell of Calgary, Alberta (Indianapolis Colts)
  • Defensive lineman Neville Gallimore of Ottawa, Ontario (Dallas Cowboys)
  • Wide Receiver Nkeal Harry of Toronto, Ontario (New England Patriots)
  • Defensive back Jevon Holland of Coquitlam, British Columbia (Miami Dolphins)
  • Offensive lineman Ryan Hunter of North Bay, Ontario (LA Chargers)
  • Running back Chuba Hubbard of Edmonton, Alberta (Carolina Panthers)
  • Defensive lineman Michael Hoecht of Oakville, Ontario (LA Rams)
  • Offensive lineman Brett Jones of Weyburn, Saskatchewan (Minnesota Vikings)
  • Tight End/Wide Receiver Rysen John of Vancouver, British Columbia (NY Giants)
  • Offensive lineman Alaric Jackson of Windsor, Ontario (LA Chargers)
  • Tight End Bruno Labelle of Montreal, Quebec (Arizona Cardinals)
  • Offensive lineman Pier-Olivier Lestage of Montreal, Quebec (Seattle Seahawks)
  • Long snapper L.P Ladadoucer of Montreal, Quebec (current free agent)
  • Kicker J.J Molson of Montreal, Quebec (Green Bay Packers)
  • Defensive lineman Brent Urban of Mississauga, Ontario (Dallas Cowboys)
  • Defensive back Benjamin St Juste of Montreal, Quebec (Washington Football Team)
  • Offensive lineman Dakota Shepley of Windsor, Ontario (San Fransisco 49ers)
  • Linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga of Calgary, Alberta (LA Chargers)
  • Defensive lineman Nathan Shepherd of Ajax, Ontario (NY Jets)
  • Defensive Lineman David Onyemata of Manitoba University (New Orleans Saints)
  • Wide Receiver Joshua Palmer of Brampton, Ontario (LA Chargers)
  • Linebacker Alex Singelton who has Canadian citizenship (Philadelphia Eagles)
  • Tight End Luke Wilson of Windsor, Ontario (current free agent)

The call: Watch Alain Cimankinda receive the call and get drafted by the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the 2021 CFL Draft

On Tuesday night at approximately 10:00 PM EDT Alain Cimankinda, a Congo-born, Ottawa-raised football player got a phone call from the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders that changed his life. From a very young age, Cimankinda has been working hard to become a professional football player and now at 25 years old the established pass rusher has the opportunity to be exactly that.

Cimankinda has had a long journey to get to the CFL, after graduating from Franco Cite High School in Ottawa, Ontario he’s attended Champlain-Lenoxville College where he played for the Cougars in CEGEP, the New Mexico Military Institute where he played a season of JUCO football all prior to his 16.5 sacks in 23 games played over 3 seasons at the University of Guelph. He has since transferred to Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, however with the opportunity in front of him to play alongside A.C Leonard, Jordan Reaves, Freddie Bishop and Micah Johnson with the Saskatchewan Roughriders will take away the chances of him suiting up as a Carleton Raven. In Saskatchewan Cimankinda will look to make an impact on the defensive line, standing at 6-foot-1, 245 pounds he is just one of two Canadian defensive ends on the Roughrider roster, making playing time very reachable in his first year at Mosaic Stadium and to have a good future out west.

Watch in the video above, Alain Cimankinda receiving the call from the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders, his family’s reaction and hear from him just moments following the call in an interview with Jordan Zlomislic of JZ Media. Cimankinda also has a documentary series releasing very soon thanks to the likes of Ronny Musikitele of Skyline Sports Global, Eldrinson Vado of Vado Visuals and Jordan Zlomislic at JZ Media. The series will feature the growth and rise of Alain Cimankinda, starting with his childhood in Ottawa, playing football for NCAFA’s Bel Air Lions to becoming a CFL player, having aspirations outside of just the game of football. The trailer has been out for several weeks on YouTube and this coming weekend will be the release of part one where you will be introduced to Alain Cimankinda and how he was raised in the city of Ottawa.

“His impact was significant.” newly drafted pass rusher Deshawn Stevens remembers Redblacks teammate Sherrod Baltimore coaching him during his freshman season at Maine

In the 2021 CFL Draft the Ottawa Redblacks front office led by general manager Marcel Desjardins selected with their six draft picks pass rusher Deshawn Stevens, West Virginia defensive back Alonzo Addae, Connor Berglof, an offensive lineman of Saskatchewan who pairs with Matthew Derks on the offensive line from Delaware State and special teamers Jake Julien and Keegan Markgraf. The Redblacks’ draft picks are mostly futures as the only player that the team are guaranteed to see at camp in 2021 is offensive linemen Connor Berglof. That meaning only 37% of the Redblacks’ 2021 CFL Draft class will be on the roster for the season which is set to begin on the 5th of August however with that being said the five other draft picks could have major impacts on the field at TD Place in the near future. 

WVU's Addae on cusp of realizing pro football dream - CFL.ca

Long Snapper Keegan Markgraf who is originally from the Hamilton, Ontario and played for the Utah Utes as well as Eastern Michigan punter Jake Julien out of Barrie, Ontario each have the opportunity to come to Ottawa and make a special teams impact with the best special teams unit in the CFL coached by Bob Dyce and led by University of Ottawa kicker Lewis Ward. To go alongside the 4th and 5th round selections of the Ottawa Redblacks from Tuesday night’s draft the team also has Alonzo Addae who is going back to West Virginia following his first season there which in 10 games he made 66 tackles, 2 interceptions, 5 pass breakups and forced one fumble. If Addae doesn’t get an opportunity in the 2022 NFL Draft, him playing with defensive backs Sherrod Baltimore, Randall Evans, Marcus Roberson, Abdul Kanneh and Gump Hayes could be a dangerous site for a lot of CFL quarterbacks. 

Another dangerous site for a lot of quarterbacks in the CFL in 2021 and in future years would be the Ottawa Redblacks’ defensive line. The team brought in nose tackles Cleyon Laing, Stefan Charles and Davon Coleman over the span of the off-season while also bringing back Avery Ellis and Danny Mason at edge, making Ottawa’s defensive line one of the best in the CFL, continuing to improve during the 2021 CFL Draft. With the Redblacks’ first round pick in the 2021 CFL Draft and the 6th pick overall head coach Paul LaPolice called pass rusher Deshawn Stevens who played his collegiate career at the University of Maine and is currently in the NCAA transfer portal. There is a small chance that Stevens does play with the Ottawa Redblacks come August 5th when the CFL is back in action all depending on what schools he has to choose from in the NCAA transfer portal. If he lands on another NCAA team for the fall he will not be able to play the 2021 CFL season but when he does come to the CFL with the Ottawa Redblacks he will be ready to make an impact with some old connections.

While at the university of Maine Stevens had the opportunity to play with a number of people that have ties to the city of Ottawa. He most recently played with Ottawa natives Liam Dobson and Katley Jospeh with the Black Bears and looking a little further back in time he has crossed paths with Micah Wright who played in Ottawa in 2019 and Christophe Mulumba who signed with the Redblacks this off-season. He also, in his first year at the University of Maine, was coached by now Ottawa Redblacks’ defensive back Sherrod Baltimore. He said, “Sherrod was there my freshman year before he got up to Ottawa and his thing was always being ready. His motto was ‘stay ready so you don’t have to get ready’ and that was something that was emphasized during practices.” Stevens explained more on how Baltimore helped him early on at Maine mentioning, “His impact was left. It was significant. Seeing someone that was still figuring out themselves and seeing him work extra hours after coaching was something I saw being a black bear.”

When the newcomer Deshawn Stevens comes to Ottawa for training camp, whether that be this year or next he’ll have a tour guide in Sherrod Baltimore to show him the ways, but his Maine family who he says he’s happy to be “reunited with again.” isn’t the only family he has in Ottawa. Stevens has two cousins that live in Ottawa he said in a zoom Tuesday night after getting the call from LaPolice in the first round of the 2021 CFL Draft, “I also have cousins Jesse and Jerome Stevens that played at St FX back in the day who are from Ottawa so I’ll be close to them now too.”While also reminiscing on some of the connections he has in the city of Ottawa he looked back on a visit he had at Carleton University before going across the border for high school, “Before I went to the states I went on a visit to Carleton so I was able to see a Carleton game and see the Senators play.”

In the CFL, lots of players tend to have connections with each of the nine teams in the league somehow considering how small of a family the CFL is, however it is clear that the majority of Deshawn Stevens’ CFL connections are in the city of Ottawa and with the Ottawa Redblacks. Stevens if not picked up by an NCAA team for the 2021 fall season will be headed to Ottawa for the 2021 CFL season beginning August 5th and will play a major role on the defensive line with other Canadian help from Cleyon Laing, Stefan Charles, Nigel Romick, Ese Mrabure-Ajufo and Kene Onyeka. 

Canadian pass catcher James Tyrrell of Concordia to make The Spring League debut tonight

Photo of James Tyrrell taken by Kyran Thicke

At 9:30 PM eastern tonight Canadian wide receiver James Tyrrell will be making his TSL debut. He will be suiting up for the Spring League’s Sea Lions alongside 38 teammates. One being Ottawa Redblacks defensive tackle Shaneil Jenkins. Tyrrell is just one of two Canadians in this year’s Spring League season, the only other one being defensive back Shamar Busby, who like Tyrrell and Jenkins also have ties with the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks, all of them being on the team at some point pre-pandemic.

Tyrrell, a 6-foot, 188 pound pass catcher played his collegiate career with the Concordia Stingers, a U-Sports program. In his final year as a Stinger James Tyrrell caught 61 passes for 903 yards, averaging nearly 15 yards per reception.

His only professional opportunity came with the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks, however due to the COVID-19 Pandemic he was never able to suit up in red and black and earn a spot on the roster. He was released by the organization and became a free agent. With the CFL returning to play August 5th, just a few months from now Tyrrell hopes to stay in game shape, get back on the field and prove himself once again in this Spring League opportunity with the Sea Lions. Along with Shaneil Jenkins who is listed on the Sea Lions roster from the Ottawa Redblacks he will also be teaming up with Andrew Jamiel, Ladarius Galloway, Kavontae Turpin and AJ Greene who all played in the 2021 inaugural season of the Fan Controlled Football League. His quarterback will be Nick Fitzgerald who played his collegiate career at Mississippi State and will be facing off against Eric Dungey and Deondre Francois’ TSL Blues tonight at 9:30 PM EDT.

The Summit News (@TheSUMMITnews) | Twitter

The game will be available to watch on FS1.

“I’m ready to get out there as soon as possible,” Alain Cimankinda ‘stoked’ to be drafted by the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders

At approximately 10:00 PM Eastern time on Tuesday, Congolese-born, Ottawa-raised pass rusher Alain Cimankinda got a call that changed his life. Sitting around family members, good friends and a group of people that had an impact on his life from the beginning to today Cimankinda was drafted by the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the 2021 CFL Draft.

Just minutes after receiving the call he showed his excitement in an interview, “I’m stoked!” he said, “I’ve spoken with the staff there and I love their organization, I love what they’re about. They have an amazing fan base, amazing city and an amazing province. I’m excited to get out there and be in a position where I can zone in and focus on football and my life.”

Being drafted 35th overall in the 2021 CFL Draft, Cimankinda is being looked at as the steal of the draft. At 6-foot-1, 245 pounds in just 23 games over the span of 3 seasons at the University of Guelph prior to transferring to the Carleton Ravens he made 16.5 sacks, only two and a half shy of now Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ head coach Mike O’Shea’s U-Sports record of 19 sacks. Running a 4.90 40 yard dash, 4.37 20 yard shuttle and a 1.67 second 10-yard split according to PurpleShift in his 2021 CFL virtual combine that he performed with Iseah Montgiraud of Limitless Era, Cimankinda not only was one of the best defensive linemen on game film in this year’s draft but also athletically. He now goes alongside Roughriders draft picks Nelson Lokombo, Terrell Jana, Bruno Labelle, Logan Bandy and Matt Watson, playing with other defensive linemen A.C Leonard, Micah Johnson, Makana Henry, Charbel Dabire, Chad Geter and Freddie Bishop, providing depth right away and a potential star with the Riders losing CFL sack leader Charleston Hughes in free agency. When asked about the kind of player Alain Cimankinda is for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Cimankinda’s longtime mentor Coach Jean Guillaume of Ottawa had said, “He’s a player that is going to go on the field for Saskatchewan and take care of business.”

Alain Cimankinda at Guelph photo captured by KhaVo photography

Guillaume, who helped Alain and his brothers through the recruiting process and everything in between is talked about as a football parent in the Cimankinda household. Cimankinda was able to share the moment with Coach Jean on Tuesday as well as a number of his family members, making the most of the opportunity of being home. He said with a smile, “It was amazing to be with my family for this moment. When you look at my journey, the last 7 or 8 years I have been away from home so to provide this experience with my family was amazing.” He then when asked about who he first thought of when he got the phone call from the Saskatchewan Roughriders continued, “Coach Jean. He’s been a part of my journey from the start and has really been my parent for all things football so I’m happy to now reward his hard work with me making it pro.”

One thing that Alain has learnt over the span of his football career, from Jean Guillaume as well as his family is the importance of giving back. When he was playing football as a kid in Ottawa the organization which he played for, the Bel Air Lions allowed him to play for free because he was unable to pay the registration fee. Small things like that and the help he received from teammates and coaches have stuck with Alain, and he plans on paying it forward in Saskatchewan like he has in the city of Ottawa, kick starting some things off of the football field with the Sauce Life Royalty mentorship program to go side by side of the El Saucy name brand which he’s been growing for years. Cimankinda said, “I’m ready to get out there as soon as possible and be in the community, be with the staff and be a part of anything I can get my hands on.”

Being a part of anything he can be is something Alain Cimankinda has been doing his whole life, impacting a number of people around him everywhere he’s been. From the NCAFA and OVFL playing days, all the way through his CEGEP, JUCO and U-Sport experiences to the CFL at least one teammate was left with a positive impact from Alain Cimankinda both on and off of the football field. It is something that many players and coaches have recognized for years and it has made Alain a player that everyone wants to have around their team because with Alain everyone improves, and he looks to bring that same impact to Saskatchewan to Riderville. Already in the working mindset just minutes after being drafted Alain commented in an interview, “The first thing I’m going to do is get hands on game film. I am going to start game planning for the CFL, learn more about how the CFL guys play, how they block and then as soon as I hit the ground I’m going to hit the ground running.”

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Quickness off the line, speed, strength, and power are all things that Alain demonstrates very well on the football field but his work ethic is second to none off the field and his leadership makes everyone around him better. He told me in my interview with him after the draft, “when I was a kid I made it a goal of mine to make it as a pro. I stuck to the grind and I made it here.” and just hearing that from him makes you think about how big this opportunity is for someone like Alain Cimankinda who went through so much adversity to get to this point, it is clear that the Saskatchewan Roughriders were right about this pick and the other eight teams will be kicking themselves that they didn’t pick Cimankinda in the near future.

It’s CFL Draft day, where will Ottawa’s Alain Cimankinda land?

Tonight at 7:00, the CFL will be having their annual entry draft. There will be 54 athletes entering the CFL today, and like every year there will be a number of athletes of the 54 that will end up having spectacular careers in the CFL. Just from looking at the 2021 CFL Draft class there are plenty of players available that might just have the potential to have great careers, one player being Alain Cimankinda.

Alain Cimankinda, a 6-foot-1, 245 pound edge rusher that played his U-Sports career at the University of Guelph and is now attending Carleton University in his hometown of Ottawa, Ontario is one of the best defensive players available in this year’s CFL Draft. Of the CFL Draft prospects that are playing in the CFL in 2021 Alain is behind both Nelson Lokombo, a defensive back of the university of Saskatchewan and UBC linebacker Ben Hladik who not only had great combine performances but like Alain they also have the game film to back them up. The CFL Draft also features “futures” and this year’s “futures” also known as the players a part of the draft that will not be playing in the CFL right away in 2021 include a number of talented defensive linemen just like Alain Cimankinda. You will see defensive linemen Daniel Joseph of North Carolina State, Central Michigan’s Mohamed Diallo and Deshawn Stevens who is currently in the NCAA transfer portal all in the 2021 CFL Draft, however unlike Cimankinda they will not be attending the 2021 CFL training camp in July. The athletes mentioned will be returning to the 2021 NCAA season, and possibly the 2022 NCAA season. In consideration that players like Diallo, Joseph and Stevens may only enter the CFL in 2023, a lot of CFL teams will likely get a player like Alain Cimankinda who will be entering the CFL to play right away in 2021 and Cimankinda being the best available defensive lineman in that category he is projected to fall in the first 3 rounds, but the question is to who?

Some possible fits would include the Toronto Argonauts, Edmonton Football Team, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Montreal Alouettes, Hamilton Tiger Cats and his hometown’s Ottawa Redblacks, however only one team can get him.

Watch the 2021 CFL Draft live on TSN tonight at 7:00 Eastern or tune in to Canadian football Perspective’s Twitch live stream for all CFL Draft coverage starting at 7:00. Alain Cimankinda, who was just 2 sacks shy of the U-Sports all-time sack record as well as 53 other players will be drafted into the CFL, kick starting their respective professional football careers.

For more, read up on the links below!

2021 NFL Draft now complete, all eyes on Tuesday’s CFL Draft

Virginia WR Terrell Jana | College Football News

Ottawa Redblacks Draft Preview; who should R-Nation have their eyes on

Ottawa natives Dylan St. Pierre and Alain Cimankinda headline CFL combine, represent the 613 in 2021 CFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft now complete, all eyes on Tuesday’s CFL Draft

Virginia WR Terrell Jana | College Football News

Every year the NFL Draft represents the beginning of the football season. You have the Super Bowl in early February followed by Free Agency in March which is a part of the off-season, but when the draft is complete that is when you know what the rosters look like and it doesn’t take long before they are on the field again in the NFL however in the CFL in a normal year things are very spaced out. You’ve got the season from May through November but after the late November Grey Cup game its very quiet up to the early February free agency frenzy which like the NFL Draft typically represents the beginning of the football season and then a few months after, following the NFL Draft in late April the CFL has its entry draft. Now that we have seen the end of the 2021 NFL Draft on Saturday, like previous years we will be seeing the CFL Draft very soon, this coming Tuesday and this year’s CFL Draft class is full of talent!

Throughout the NFL Draft weekend we heard a lot of buzz around the Canadian talent, having four Canadian-born players drafted into the NFL and 4 Canadians signed after the draft introducing a total of 8 Canadians into the NFL this off-season and for those Canadians that didn’t get their shot yet at an NFL contract the CFL is ready to give them an opportunity this Tuesday. A draft class packed of Canadian athletes, the 2021 CFL Draft has 3 different groups of athletes, very different than previous drafts due to the COVID-19 Pandemic which has changed the game completely. The Draft has players that are ready to play right away, those that will be attending training camp in 2021 are the players that CFL organizations will be prioritizing early on Tuesday night to insure an immediate improvement on the team. This year’s CFL Draft also features players that are going back to University for one or two more years to extend their opportunities for the NFL as well as the players that have been drafted or signed into the NFL this off-season. When looking at the three groups of talent in this year’s CFL Draft which will begin on Tuesday at 7:00 PM EDT on TSN many would ask ‘who do I want my team to pick?’

For this year’s CFL Draft class the key is to play in the present, not the future. After having no football in Canada for well over a full calendar year CFL teams should be looking to get depth that is ready to play this year. We are unsure of the shape that a lot of the players are in that are coming back to the CFL, therefore having a young, fresh pair of legs at each position from either the NCAA or U-Sports division could go a long way to bring home the Grey Cup this December. There are, as mentioned three different groups of talent in this year’s CFL Draft so with that being said CFL teams should be looking for the players that are not on NFL rosters or going back to school early in the draft. CFL teams should have all eyes on the following players that will be attending a 2021 CFL training camp. Terrell Jana, Nelson Lokombo, Logan Bandy, Ben Hladik, Jake Burt, Kyle Borsa, Bryce Bell, Nick Cross, Dominic Johnson, Will Corby, Luther Hakunavanhu, Alain Cimankinda, Cole Nelson, Deonte Glover, Shae Weeks, Elliott Graham and more.

Projecting Where Chuba Hubbard Will Be Drafted After Day 1 of 2021 NFL  Draft | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights

No knocking on the other talent available in the 2021 CFL Draft this Tuesday but in football and any other sport the goal should always be to win now. Eventhough it is always good to have a plan for the future you cannot be caught up in 2023 when you are in 2021, especially with what may be in store with the CFL in future years. With that being said, though there are some great athletes to keep eyes on from the other two groups available in this year’s CFL Draft. As for the players on NFL rosters, NFL Draft picks Jevon Holland, Benjamin St Juste, Chuba Hubbard and Joshua Palmer they should go undrafted in the 2021 CFL Draft, if not picked in the 6th round because everything says that each of the four athletes will have a good career in the NFL. Same goes for both Alaric Jackson and Amen Ogbongbemiga who both signed free agent contracts with NFL franchises following the 2021 NFL Draft. The two players were expected to be drafted in the NFL and now with NFL contracts that they have they should remain in the NFL for a few years considering the upside they both have. Outside of the six players mentioned both Bruno Labelle and Pier-Olivier Lestage could find themselves out of an NFL job in the near future so should be drafted in the CFL Draft.

May 4th’s CFL Draft also has future players available in the Draft, players that are available to be drafted and signed by CFL teams as a professional athlete but are returning to their university programs for the 2021 season. The players in that group contain NCAA’s Sage Doxtater, Mohamed Diallo, Deane Leonard, Patrice Rene, Liam Dobson, Daniel Joseph, Alonzo Addae, Deshawn Stevens, Luiji Vilain and Mike Beaudry. There are more players in that category, however with the projected priority around the players available to play in a 2021 CFL season the players named are expected to be the only ones drafted into this year’s CFL Draft.

Rutgers lands North Carolina DB and former decommit Patrice Rene - nj.com

All in all, with all three groups of players available there is some serious talent in the 2021 CFL Draft. It will be an exciting Tuesday evening as we see 54 new players enter the CFL to play in the league and earn their respective opportunities. For more on the CFL Draft which, again will be available to watch on TSN at 7:00 PM EDT on Tuesday May 4th visit the links below.

Ottawa Redblacks Draft Preview; who should R-Nation have their eyes on

Ottawa natives Dylan St. Pierre and Alain Cimankinda headline CFL combine, represent the 613 in 2021 CFL Draft

Skyline Sports Global, Vado Visuals and JZ Media to release “The Alain B. Cimankinda Story”

Montreal-born tight end Bruno Labelle of the Cincinnati Bearcats signs contract with the Arizona Cardinals after the 2021 NFL Draft

Bruno Labelle - Football - University of Cincinnati Athletics

There were four Canadians selected in this weekend’s NFL Draft and Bruno Labelle is the fourth Canadian to sign a contract in the NFL following the 2021 NFL Draft. Labelle actually will be joining Canadian undrafted free agents Pier-Olivier Lestage and Alaric Jackson in the NFL West as Jackson signed a contract with the Rams and Lestage is now a Seahawk.

Bruno Labelle, coming out of the University of Cincinnati where Travis Kelce played his collegiate career signed a contract with the Arizona Cardinals. In the 2021 NFL Draft the Cardinals acquired receiver Rondale Moore out of Purdue to play with DeAndre Hopkins, AJ Green and Christian Kirk but after losing Dan Arnold in free agency Arizona has yet to find a complimentary tight end to Maxx Williams, maybe Labelle could be the one.