The 2018 CFL draft has been and gone. The endless dissection and analysis will go on however. The truth is you can rarely judge a draft until a few years after the event. That won’t stop fans picking over the bones of their team’s efforts though.
As there are plenty of people already dissecting what each team has done in pretty detailed ways it might be nice to look at something a little more esoteric from the 2018 CFL draft.
The first selection made by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats was Mark Chapman. Not I hasten to add for UK football fans the inimitable co-presenter and notional quarterback to Osi Umenyora and Jason Bell on the BBC’s NFL coverage! Rather, this Chapman is a 5-foot-11, 180-pound receiver from Central Michigan.
It is Chapman’s selection, that allows us to see the esoteric links from this years draft mentioned above. With Chapman going first Central Michigan becomes only the sixth team to have players selected No. 1 in both the CFL and NFL drafts. Five years ago the Kansas City Chiefs selected offensive tackle Eric Fisher from Central Michigan with the first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
The full list of NCAA schools to have a number one draft pick in both the NFL and CFL drafts are as follows:
Central Michigan CFL: 2018 Mark Chapman NFL: 2013 Eric Fisher
Iowa CFL: 2017 Faith Ekakitie NFL: Randy Duncan 1959
Oklahoma CFL: 2016 Josiah St John NFL: 1976 Lee Roy Selmon, 1980 Billy Sims, 1987 Brian Bosworth, 2010 Sam Bradford & 2018 Baker Mayfield
Syracuse CFL: Steve Scully 1975 NFL: Ernie Davis 1962
Utah CFL: Kevin Powell 1979 NFL: Alex Smith 2005
Washington State CFL: 1999 Rob Meier & 2006 Adam Braidwood NFL: Drew Bledsoe 1993
You can see how much of an imperfect science the draft is in the CFL overall number one picks listed here. Arguably the only one to have a career worthy of being picked first, (so far), is Kevin Powell who lasted 12 years in the league. Even then his 4 all-star seasons were with the Rough Riders and not the Argos who had drafted him.
I genuinely think Chapman has the chance to succeed. He has landed in the right place, with the right offense at the he right time. If the range of the careers of these former overall first picks (both CFL & NFL) tell us anything though it is that there is no certainty here. As HG Wells had his time traveller say “It sounds plausible enough…but wait until tomorrow. Wait for the common sense of the morning.”
Whatever happens it is always interesting to have a jumping off point like this for delving into the fascinating history of the game and the players who make it. As ever too it is going to be fun watching how it all unfolds from here. Bring on the 2018 CFL season!
Image from cfl.ca