While the Toronto Argonauts are coming off an off-season where they brought back plenty of the key cogs from the 2017 Grey Cup Champion team, they lost receiver DeVier Posey to the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. They’re going to need someone to step up to replace the production of Posey to go along-side the human highlight reel in S.J. Green and reliable Aramanti Edwards. It can’t just be those two guys for Ray to throw to which leads to the candidates of who will replace Posey in the offence.
Argos Third Receiver
The Argos have plenty of receivers and slotbacks on the roster heading into the final pre-season game in Guelph against the Ottawa RedBlacks. It’s a solid mix of imports and non-imports but the current crop of receivers and slotbacks will need someone to emerge as the third go-to for Ray.
Llevi Noel, Brian Jones, Malcolm Williams, Jimmy Ralph, and Alex Charette are the current crop of non-imports on the roster and all except for Charette have seen game action in spurts in 2017 and even as far back as 2016. That bunch of receivers have amassed the following numbers:
- Llevi Noel (2016 and 2017) – four receptions, 58 yards, two touchdowns
- Jimmy Ralph (2017) – 26 receptions, 278 yards, no touchdowns
- Malcolm Williams (2017) – 14 receptions, 153 yards, no touchdowns
- Brian Jones (2016 and 2017) – 12 receptions, 128 yards, one touchdown (all 2016)
- Alex Charette (2015-2017) – 24 receptions, 208 yards, no touchdowns (2015 with Montreal)
- Totals – 80 receptions, 825 yards, two touchdowns
That’s not a whole lot of production available from the group of Canadian receivers but Charette barely has played since 2015, while Jones and Noel are heavily involved on special teams. Williams and Ralph saw a good amount of action on offence in 2017 and Ralph really emerged as a go-to candidate on second down a season ago for Ray. Ralph has plenty of CFL experience in his blood as both his brothers Brock and Brett Ralph had stints in the CFL.
Williams also emerged as a solid option for Ray in spurts during the 2017 season while Noel is the only one of the entire crop of Canadians to catch a touchdown. The Argos are going to need one of these five to emerge as the pre-season is quickly coming to a close and the regular season on the horizon.
Based on usage in 2017, Jimmy Ralph would seem to be a safe bet to be the one of this group to potentially break out for the Argos offence in 2018. Noel and Williams will also see some action spread out through the course of the season but Ralph definitely has the potential to be a reliable option for Ricky Ray. Of course, these receivers will also be key for the non-import/import ratio rules.
The group of imports in Argos camp is bigger than non-imports as one would expect. General Manager Jim Popp brought in plenty of import receivers in hopes one would emerge to replace Posey.
- Bralon Addison – CFL rookie
- Mario Alford – CFL rookie
- Jonathan Epps – 2nd CFL season (no action in 2017)
- Christopher Harper – CFL rookie
- Tobias Palmer – CFL rookie
- Rodney Smith – CFL rookie
- Brian Tyms (2016 and 2017 with Hamilton) – 29 receptions, 237 yards, one touchdown
- Cole Watson (2016-2017) – no action in 2017
As you can see, there is tons of inexperience with the group of import receivers in Argos camp aside from Brian Tyms, who actually got off to a really good start with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2017. With the dreadful start to the Tiger-Cats season, Tyms was a casualty when June Jones took over as head coach for Kent Austin. A fun fact about Tyms is that he is actually S.J. Green’s brother-in-law.
In the first pre-season game against Hamilton, Cole Watson was most productive 52 yards on three receptions. That included 24 yards after the catch. Bralon Addison chipped in with 32 yards on three receptions. Behind them, Alex Charette and Chris Harper had a few catches between the two of them.
The Argos are clearly hoping that Brian Tyms picks up where he left off with the Tiger-Cats as he has the most production from his time in the league. He seems to be the favourite on offence to replace Posey as the third option behind Green and Edwards. It is encouraging that Watson, Charette, and Addison looked good in their action as well.
There are some other options for Ricky Ray in the passing game that includes James Wilder Jr., Anthony Coombs, Brandon Burks, Martese Jackson, and Declan Cross as well. Cross really became a secret weapon for the Argos offence in 2017 as the fullback/tight end and he should continue to play that role well.
A big key from the other options will be the health of Coombs. Coombs was the Argos first-round pick from the 2014 CFL draft. Coombs has shown he can be a game changer with his versatility as a slotback and running back but health has been the Achilles heel of Coombs in his CFL career.
Out of all the options for the Argos heading into the 2018 CFL season, the likeliest from each of the three groups to emerge as the replacement for Devier Posey would be Jimmy Ralph, Brian Tyms, and Anthony Coombs. Declan Cross could also be a part of this selected list.
It will be very interesting to see who emerges outside of the group selected above but Brian Tyms may very well be the safest bet to replace the production of DeVier Posey. The Argos will need Tyms to be that guy to continue the dynamic offence the Argos had when James Wilder Jr. took over as the feature back in 2017. This will undoubtedly be the most interesting development as the 2018 season goes along for the Argos.
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