Now that the major free agent signings have been finalized, the Last Word On Sports CFL department will be looking at the top three needs for each team heading into the 2016 CFL Draft. Today, the Toronto Argonauts are the focus. The Argonauts have eight total picks in the draft including the fourth overall pick in the first round.
The Toronto Argonauts had an okay year with Trevor Harris being the quarterback for much of the year while Ricky Ray healed from his injury. The Argos ended up coming 3rd in the East and losing to Hamilton in the East Semi-Final by a field goal by Justin Medlock.
Before looking at the Argonauts 2016 CFL Draft needs, LWOS looks at the team’s additions and subtractions during the off-season. General manager Jim Barker was quiet at the beginning of the off-season seeing many key players leave until late February he became active.
Subtractions: QB Trevor Harris (Ottawa), FB Brendan Gillanders (Ottawa), OL Bruce Campbell (Saskatchewan/Retired), WR Chad Owens (Hamilton), K/P Swayze Waters (NFL Carolina)
Additions: OL Corey Watman, OL Josh Bourke, K Liam Hajrullahu, DL Brian Bulcke, DB Keon Raymond, DL Bryan Hall
Toronto Argonauts 2016 CFL Draft: Top 3 Needs
Toronto Argonauts defense got burned a lot last season and Jim Barker will look to strengthen the secondary with some early round picks. With Ottawa and Hamilton having deep ball threats for Toronto to compete they need to address the secondary and get better overall in starters and in depth.
Players to look for include Elie Bouka, Taylor Loffler, Arjen Colquhoun, Anthony Thompson, and Josh Woodman. These are all impact defensive backs and safeties who will strengthen the secondary.
Every team needs help on the offensive line and you can never have too many quality Canadian offensive lineman. For Toronto, protecting Ricky Ray is huge, especially now that Trevor Harris is no longer there as a backup. If Ray goes down, so does the season. Although Ray is apparently 100 percent healthy, after three years of spotty appearances, protecting him is huge. Toronto doesn’t really have a quality backup who can start a few games if an injury happens.
Prospects to look out for if they get one in the first round are Philippe Gagnon and Michael Couture; in later rounds, their picks might tend towards Dillon Guy or Brandon Revenberg.
The Argonauts have been set for a while with Swayze Waters, but with Waters signing in the NFL, the Argos signed former Blue Bomber Liam Hajrullahu. The Argos don’t see him as a kicker you can rely on to win games, though, especially as he cost the Bombers a spot in the playoffs with missed converts and field goals. The punting game also needs work with Swayze gone and that was shown last year when he was hurt.
There is only one prospect that can fit this bill perfectly and that is Quinn Van Gylswyk the UBC product who can punt and kick and is expected to be drafted in round three. With Hamilton also needing kickers Toronto will most likely have to draft him in round two to get him.