Photo: Courtesy Western Kentucky Athletics
Last year, the theme was place kicking. This year it was punting. Unlike everyone who attended last night’s MET Gala, the Toronto Argonauts stayed true to the theme, selecting Australian punter John Haggerty in the first round of the 2022 CFL Global Draft. Haggerty was one of eight punters taken in the 27-pick draft.
Haggerty has a year of eligibility remaining at Western Kentucky where he has served as the team’s punter for the past three seasons. During that time, he averaged 46.3 yards on 126 punts (40.5 net). Haggerty set school records in each of his seasons at Western Kentucky. Over his career, more than 40% of his punts travelled over 50 yards, and 38 of them were downed inside the 20-yard-line with only nine touchbacks.
This past season, Haggerty averaged 48.7 yards per punt. He is an Academic All-American, has received several awards, and was a Conference USA Honourable Mention.
The Argos also took a record setting Australian punter in last year’s CFL Global Draft, selecting Max Duffy, who is now playing for the USFL’s Pittsburgh Maulers.
In the second round of the 2022 CFL Global Draft, the Argos took CFL Combine participant DL Simeon Okanta-Wariso from Great Britain. Okanta-Wariso carries his 255lbs effortlessly on his 6’1” frame, and looks to work as an end in the CFL. He logged 24 bench reps and an eyebrow-raising 32.5” vertical leap.
Okanta-Wariso played most recently for the Lubeck Cougars of the GFL.
The Toronto Argonauts wrapped up their day at the Global Draft by selecting Brazilian OL Otavio Amorim with their third round pick. Amorim is a beast of a man at 6’2”, 343lbs. He was also at the CFL Combine in Toronto, where he posted some impressive numbers for his size, including a 5.42 40-time.
Amorim spent last season playing left tackle for the Berlin Thunder of the ELF. He’s a beast of a run-blocker, but he doesn’t project as a CFL tackle. He may look to drop weight in exchange for speed this season, or potentially transition to the interior of the line.
It’s interesting to note that two of Toronto’s three picks were CFL Combine attendees, which means the club had a chance to interview them, something that can make a big difference in a draft like this where the level of competition can be difficult to quantify.
John Haggerty III is probably the only one of today's three selections who is ready for CFL competition, but with Boris Bede punting out of the stadium, his attendance isn't absolutely mandatory. Having Bede serve as both kicker and punter frees up a roster spot, but it would certainly be nice for the Argos to have Haggerty as an option.
The Argos currently have three Global players under contract in FB Asnnel Robo, and last year's Global selections K Toshiki Sato and DB Tigie Sankoh.