The Importance of Llevi Noel’s Emergence for the Toronto Argonauts

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 7: Llevi Noel #84 of the Toronto Argonauts during the warm up against the Saskatchewan Roughriders at BMO field on October 7, 2017 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Saskatchewan Roughriders defeated the Toronto Argonauts 27-24. (Photo by John E. Sokolowski/Getty Images)

The Toronto Argonauts are heading into the second of a home-and-home with the Edmonton Eskimos on Friday night after winning Saturday afternoon at BMO Field. It was a much-needed win for the Argonauts. Toronto has avoided a 0-3 start and saw what they have in quarterback James Franklin.

The win, the development of Franklin, the bend-don’t-break defence and the usage of James Wilder Jr. were all welcoming sights for the Argos but a much less discussed benefit of the win was the performance of Canadian receiver Llevi Noel. Noel only had two catches but they were big ones for 81 yards total.

Toronto’s Need for a Third Receiver

The Argonauts desperately need a third receiver to step up in the passing game to fill the loss of DeVier Posey and to free up breathing room for Armanti Edwards and S.J. Green. To this point in the season, Edwards has 10 receptions for 117 yards with no touchdowns. Green has 10 receptions for 105 yards and no touchdowns. It’s been a quiet start for the two studs but nobody behind them has stepped up. They’ve already cut bait with Brian Tyms who many thought could replace Posey nicely.

As mentioned, after Tyms, it’s been very quiet for Argonauts pass catchers through three games. Noel has been with the Argos since 2016 and has largely played special teams with the exception of four receptions, 58 yards, and two touchdowns through his career at wide receiver before last Saturday’s game.

Noel is a Canadian receiver, which is great for ratio purposes and can definitely help the Argos’ offence from the ratio standpoint alone. However, almost every CFL team has three receivers they can count on in the passing game every game to make plays and for the quarterback to get the ball to. Noel’s game on Saturday is a step in the right direction for the Argonauts. The Argos’ receiver proved that he can begin to be relied on for a heavier workload from here on out.

The Argos’ offence to this point has lacked a spark in the passing game. Being getting injured Ricky Ray was consistently under pressure from the opposition and had a difficult time finding Edwards and Green. Franklin was unable to find Green and Edwards much on Saturday too. It was Llevi Noel’s semi-breakout game on Saturday that allowed for Franklin to find some more explosive plays on offence.

The Last Word

This development of Noel is something Argonauts fans should monitor from here on out. Perhaps it is something. It is possible it may develop into nothing. However, the fact he was used much more on offensive sets leads one to believe that he will gather more work at receiver and become more of a weapon, something the offence desperately needs in order to replace the 2017 production of DeVier Posey.

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