Evan Daum, Canada West Communications
- Manitoba Bison Geoff Gray (OL), and Calgary Dinos Robert Woodson (DB), Braden Schram (OL), and Connor McGough (DL) made the list of the top 20 draft-eligible players.
- The CFL Draft is slated for Sunday, May 7
- For a second straight season, the Canada West CFL Prospect Rankings will highlight the top conference players ahead of the CFL Draft. The CW rankings are set to be released Thursday, May 4
EDMONTON – A quartet of Canada West football players have cracked the final Canadian Football League (CFL) Scouting Bureau rankings ahead of next month's CFL Draft (May 7).
Manitoba Bison Geoff Gray (No. 3 - OL), and Calgary Dinos Robert Woodson (No. 14 - DB), Braden Schram (No. 16 - OL), and Connor McGough (No. 20 - DL) made the list of the top 20 draft-eligible players.
Both Gray and Woodson appeared in the previous two rankings (September and December), as Gray started the season as the No. 11-ranked prospect, while Woodson began the 2016 Canada West season as the No.12-ranked player. Schram and McGough are making their debuts on the list, which is selected by CFL scouts, player personnel directors and general managers from the league's nine teams.
Gray, who was the Canada West outstanding down lineman this past season and one of only two U SPORTS players to attend the prestigious East-West Shrine Game earlier this year, is garnering some pro buzz south of the border thanks to his breakout season. The Winnipeg product could follow in the footsteps of former teammate David Onyemata, who was taken in the fourth round of last year's NFL Draft (120th overall) and is currently playing for the New Orleans Saints. Onyemata was also taken in the fourth round of the CFL Draft, going to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Woodson and McGough helped anchor the Dinos' defence in 2016, as the pair were pivotal to Calgary's Hardy Cup victory and run to the Vanier Cup, where they came up just short of a national title against the Laval Rouge et Or. Woodson, the 2015 conference defensive MVP, was one of six players to be unanimously selected as a first team all-star by the six Canada West coaches, while McGough was also a first teamer.
Schram, a 2015 First Team All-Canadian, played seven of eight conference games before going down with an injury Week 7 vs. Saskatchewan.
All four players are looking to become the latest Canada West players to move onto the professional level, joining the likes of former UBC Thunderbird and 2016 CFL West Division All-Star Taylor Loffler (S). Loffler was one of 14 Canada West players selected in last year's CFL Draft (3rd round, 19th overall) and enjoyed a standout rookie season with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
In total, 43 Canada West products have been selected in the last four CFL Drafts, as the conference continues to produce outstanding football players at an impressive rate.
Along with Gray, Woodson, Schram, and McGough, another Canada West player is sure to be selected in the upcoming draft, as Regina's Mitchell Picton (REC) just missed out on cracking the top 20 prospects.
The Regina native, who finished second in the nation in receiving yards this year with 834, was ranked 20th in December, but slipped just off the list this time around.
Canada West CFL Prospect Rankings
For the second consecutive season, Canada West will release a list of the top conference prospects ahead of the CFL Draft.
Coaches from all six Canada West football programs are set to rank the conference's draft-eligible prospects. The rankings provide a glimpse into how Canada West coaches view the top players ahead of the CFL Draft.
The 2017 Canada West CFL Prospect Rankings are set to be released Thursday, May 4.
Canada West players ranked by the CFL Scouting Bureau
3. Geoff Gray / Manitoba Bisons / 4 / Winnipeg, Man. / Engineering
14. Robert Woodson / Calgary Dinos / 4 / Calgary, Alta. / Arts
16. Braden Schram / Calgary Dinos / 4 / Manning, Alta. / Arts
20. Connor McGough / Calgary Dinos / 4 / Medicine Hat, Alta. / Science
For a full look at the CFL Scouting Bureau rankings, click here.