Punter Jake Ford Picked No. 1 Overall by BC Lions in 2021 CFL Draft

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVApril 15, 2021

VANCOUVER, CANADA - NOVEMBER 27: The BC Lions' logo is shown on the field before the game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers before the Grey Cup at BC Place on November 27, 2011 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
Derek Leung/Getty Images

There was a lot of love for the punters early in the 2021 CFL Global Draft.

The BC Lions made Australia's Jake Ford the first pick of the event:


With the first pick in the #CFLGlobal Draft, the @BCLions select 🇦🇺 P Jake Ford pic.twitter.com/4RK01TCzEn

Ford was one of four punters selected in the nine-team first round. It helps that the Canadian Football League has rules that allow punters to contribute on the scoreboard. A rouge gives teams a single point when the ball is kicked into the end zone. 

The Lions' director of global scouting Geroy Simon specifically noted the special teams talent available in this draft, per J.J. Adams of The Province: 

"You look at the punters and kickers, these guys, a lot of these guys are from Australia, they play Aussie rules football. Some of the kids from Mexico, where they played soccer all their life, so they’re used to kicking the ball. They have those skills and they have the power. When the ball comes out the foot it really explodes."

Ford, 28, played Aussie rules football until coming to the United States, eventually spending time at the University of Oregon and Division II Ouachita Baptist University. He led the nation in net punting in 2018.

Though it's not a strategy we are likely to see in the NFL, CFL teams are clearly ready to build around their punter.