Ottawa RedBlacks Should Be Competitive in 2014 CFL Season

Jim Flannery@@calgaryjimboAnalyst IJune 26, 2016

CALGARY, AB, CANADA - SEPTEMBER 2: Quarterback Kevin Glenn #15 of the Calgary Stampeders looks to throw a pass against the Edmonton Eskimos in the first half of their CFL football game September 2, 2013 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Todd Korol/Getty Images)
Todd Korol/Getty Images

Following Monday's CFL expansion draft for the Ottawa RedBlacks, the league's newest franchise is finally starting to take shape. 

Overall, it looks like the front office for the RedBlacks had a good plan for the draft and executed it effectively.

When all was said and done, the RedBlacks had picked up two solid quarterbacks, a full offensive line to protect them, a proven running back, some receivers, a ton of defensive linemen, a few linebackers and some help in the secondary as well.

In a pass-first league, it was critical that the RedBlacks find some talent at the quarterback position, and they did very well selecting Kevin Glenn from the Calgary Stampeders and Thomas DeMarco from the BC Lions. 

This will be the fifth CFL team for Glenn, who is entering his 14th year in the league and who is currently 10th in CFL history in passing yards (36,666). Glenn will be the No. 1 guy for Ottawa and can serve as a mentor to DeMarco, who threw for 1,325 yards this past year with the Lions.

Arguably the best quarterback available was Zach Collaros of the Toronto Argonauts, but Ottawa decided to pass on him because he becomes a free agent this offseason, and they didn't want to risk losing a critical selection.

Said Ottawa general manager Marcel Desjardins, via, "It became a function of having two guys that we felt were the best quarterbacks available that were not going to be free agents."

The RedBlacks also got an interesting running back in Chevon Walker. Walker was a starter for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2012, picking up 656 yards on the ground and 336 yards receiving for 992 all-purpose yards. 

Walker could prove to be the steal of the draft if he can build on his early successes.

Ottawa also grabbed up six offensive linemen, so they have a solid unit to provide protection to their QBs and open holes for the running game.

Defensive tackle Keith Shologan will be a key part of the RedBlacks defense.
Defensive tackle Keith Shologan will be a key part of the RedBlacks defense.Getty Images/Getty Images

Marwan Hage, Joe Eppele, Alex Krausnick and J'Micheal Deane have a combined 20 years of CFL experience, so they have built themselves a veteran O-line who should pay dividends immediately.

On the defensive side, the RedBlacks picked up six linemen including defensive tackle Keith Shologan who picked up four sacks with the Saskatchewan Roughriders en route to the Riders winning the Grey Cup this year.

Non-import linebacker Jason Pottinger has eight years of experience under his belt and racked up as many as 71 tackles for the Toronto Argonauts in 2010.

Non-import safety Eric Fraser has been a solid contributor to the Stampeders' defense for four years now. In 2013 he made 29 tackles, two interceptions and a sack in the Stamps secondary.

All nine CFL teams can now turn their attention to rebuilding for next year, but it appears Ottawa has selected pieces that could make them competitive right out of the gate.


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