Before the 2019 CFL Draft started, Edmonton Eskimos general manager and vice-president of football operations Brock Sunderland joked with the media.
“Do you want to know who we are taking at third overall?” he asked.
After some playbook joking, it was determined it all depends on which players go first and second overall.
The Toronto Argonauts had the first overall pick and selected Calgary native and Oklahoma State offensive lineman Shane Richards on Thursday evening.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats were next and picked Waterloo offensive lineman Jesse Gibbon.
The Eskimos, at third overall, selected Laval defensive lineman Mathieu Betts.
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Sunderland said Betts was the player he and the rest of the Eskimos’ football operations staff had their eye on.
“Pass rusher, pure football player,” Sunderland said. “The analogy we use is he’s a Canadian John Chick in his prime.
“He was the highest player on our board and we understand there’s some risk with the NFL but he wasn’t drafted, so that changes things.
“There’s no guarantee he’ll be here but [there’s] a little bit less of a chance that he sticks down there because he wasn’t drafted.”
Listen below: Eskimos GM and V-P of Football Operations Brock Sunderland discusses the selection of Laval DL Mathieu Betts
Betts recorded 21 tackles and nine quarterback sacks with Laval last season. The player recently signed a three-year contract in the NFL with the Chicago Bears.
The Eskimos will play the waiting game with Betts and already have Canadian Kwaku Boateng playing one starting defensive end spot.
Eskimos head coach Jason Maas said he feels his team has the Canadian depth at defensive end to give the team time to wait for Betts.
“Last year, Mark Mackie came in and made plays for us — he plays inside and outside,” Maas said. “We signed Andrew Marshall as a CFL veteran who’s been a guy on special teams, but whenever he’s been asked to play, [he] has been able to do it. We have Gabriel Bagnell who we drafted last year. Kwaku has been a guy who’s done a good job in his career staying healthy.”
Listen below: Eskimos head coach Jason Maas likes what Laval DL Mathieu Betts brings to the table
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More to come…
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