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  • Ben Grant

The Xs and Argos Draft Board

CFL Draft Boards don’t work as standalone pieces at the best of times, and this one even less so because it has a team-specific focus. So, please bear with me as I explain my process and purpose in putting this together.

This is the fourth year I’ve created a Draft Board for the CFL Draft. They’re certainly not perfect, but I feel as though each has been better than the last. In coming up with my list, I first try to narrow down the number of players I’m looking at to about 200. I sort the players into positional groups and give each player a film grade (this part takes forever). Once CFL Combine / Pro Day data starts to come in, I add the new information to my Excel sheet and apply the weighting I’ve assigned for each positional group to each column in order to establish a rudimentary list. My “positional measurables weighting” has and will continue to change year-to-year until I feel I’ve got it right. Then, in the least scientific part of this process, I adjust grades based on conversations I have with players, coaches, agents, scouts, and others who cover the CFL. I factor in Toronto’s positional strengths and weaknesses, as well as the systems the Argos run, and then finally I attempt to account for x factors such as whether or not a player will spend time in the NFL. I hate how arbitrary this stage feels, but sometimes players earn a poor film grade due to an injury I didn’t know about or they miss games due to a person situation, and if I can account for that, I’d like to. It also helps me sort players like Tre Ford and Jesse Luketa, who had an amazing film grade, but who I strongly feel will spend years, if not their entire careers in the NFL, and therefore may not be worth drafting until the later rounds.

I think this is the best Argos-Specific Draft Board out there, but there are still major problems:

1. I’m not a CFL scout. I’ve had some hits over the years, but I’ve also had many terrible misses. I actually feel quite confident in my ability to assess football talent, but I’d have been fired by the Argos for each of my last three big boards, and rightly so.

2. Interviews. This might be the most important part of the scouting process, and it’s something I don’t have access to.

3. As well as I know the Argonauts, I don’t actually know what their plans are in terms of both personnel and system. I have no idea what Coach Mace’s defense is going to look like. I’m not even sure I know what Coach Dinwiddie’s offense will look like given that last year’s was designed for a quarterback who is now in Edmonton.

This doesn’t mean the Xs and Argos Draft Board is a useless document. It’s not like I was just picking names out of the air. I encourage you to refer to it on Draft Day. It will help you understand my frustration or celebration on our next podcast, and it makes following every round of the CFL Draft a lot more fun.

The Xs and Argos Draft Board

1st Round Grades

2nd Round Grades

3rd Round Grades

4th Round Grades

5th Round Grades

6th Round Grades

7th Round Grades

8th Round Grades


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