In the CFL draft, there is this dilemma. This alluring risk. Teams sometimes have to choose between a superior player, but whose future is possibly in the NFL, or a lesser player, but who will certainly evolve in the Ambrosie circuit. The Montreal Alouettes preferred the first option.
With their two first-round picks in the 2023 Draft, which took place Tuesday night, the Birds have set their sights on players with hopes of going through the NFL, namely Jonathan Sutherland and Lwal Uguak.
“It was a calculated risk,” said team general manager Danny Maciocia. We can afford to be patient. We may wait a year to have them in Montreal, because we know that if they come here, they will be impact players. »
Maciocia said his team opted for the same strategy as when it selected Quebecers Marc-Antoine Dequoy and Pier-Olivier Lestage, advocating patience rather than immediate results.
First, in fifth place, the Alouettes chose Sutherland, a defensive back. Ignored during the NFL draft, he agreed with the Seattle Seahawks as a free agent moments after the auction.
The Ottawan, who wore the colors of Penn State University, signed an NFL pact paying him $210,000 upon signing, according to TSN. A bonus that contributed to Sutherland’s fall in the draft, according to Maciocia. Again, “it was worth it since it wasn’t the best vintage,” he recalled.
The one whose mother was born in Montreal, considers himself “pampered” to be a member of the Alouettes and does not close the door to the CFL.
“There’s nothing concrete right now with Seattle, so it’s going to depend on my time there. It remains unpredictable. […] I’m going there next week, so we’ll see,” Sutherland noted.
Two selections later, the Alouettes chose Uguak. For his part, the defensive lineman was invited to the rookie camp of the New York Giants.
“The NFL and CFL have been dreams for me since I was little. So if it ever doesn’t work out, I’m proud to be an Alouettes member,” the Edmonton native explained.
He went on to say that he remembers Anthony Calvillo’s time as Alouettes quarterback very well, as they were “always beating the Eskimos” and he is now “excited” to join the Montreal club. .
The seventh overall pick came through a trade last summer with the BC Lions. The Montreal team sent quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. to get their hands on said pick.
The Alouettes then had an early pick in the second round, the 13th overall. The team chose the native of Saint-Georges, David Dallaire.
The former Rouge et Or centre-back was at a restaurant with his family and closest friends to watch the draft. When he saw his phone ringing, he immediately got carried away.
On the other hand, it was not a total surprise for the Beauceron. He knew that the Alouettes had a need to fill the fullback position. Maciocia then admitted that he came very close to selecting Dallaire with his 7th overall pick, but still went there with a “calculated risk”.
Faced with this realization, Dallaire mentioned that he “just wanted to be drafted”, but that it remained “flattering”. “I just checked off a dream. It is now accomplished,” he added.
Along with their other selections, the Alouettes have chosen Theo Grant (32nd), Jacob Mason (39th), Shedler Fervius (41st), Chase Brown (59th) and Maxym Lavallée (68th).
Linebacker Michael Brodrique was selected second overall by the Edmonton Elks. The 24-year-old was the University of Montreal Carabins’ color bearer during his university days.
The principal concerned said he was “surprised” to have been selected at the second level. “But it was a great surprise,” he told La Presse Canadienne during a videoconference. “I am very happy to join the Elk family and can’t wait to start training camp. »
About him, Maciocia claimed that his former foal is “a very good football player”. “I am convinced that he will make a living in professional football,” he added.
The one who was named to the RSEQ defensive all-star team in 2022 was ranked 11th in the final prospect rankings. Never had a Carabins player been drafted so quickly.
Earlier Tuesday, the Montreal club drafted Swedish defensive lineman Simon Sandberg with their first pick, fifth overall, in the Canadian Tour’s world draft.
The 6’3″, 295lb footballer received a Pac-12 Conference Honorable Mention in 2022 with the Oregon State University Beavers, collecting 17 tackles, including two for losses in 13 games as a starter. The athlete from Karlstad also knocked down two assists.
The Alouettes then selected Australian kicker Rhys Byrns in the second round (14th overall).
Byrns (6′, 191 lbs.) was named to the Sun Belt Conference All-Star Team in his final two seasons with the Lousiana-Lafayette University Ragin Cajuns, while leading the conference with an average of 46.3 yards per punt, including 19 punts for over 50 yards.