Each year, the football head coaches of Canada West are asked to vote on who they consider to be the top dozen prospects for the CFL Draft. And for the second straight time, three members of the U of M Bisons have “made the grade” so to speak, heading into Thursday night’s 2020 CFL Draft which gets underway at 7 p.m. Winnipeg time.
Defensive lineman Brock Gowanlock was the third overall name on that list behind a pair of offensive linemen in Alberta’s Carter O’Donnell and Mattland Riley of Saskatchewan. O’Donnell signed with Indianapolis as an undrafted free agent last Saturday, so it’s unlikely the Red Deer native will be an early selection. The 2019 All Canadian was the No. 3-rated prospect in the final pre-draft ranking by the Central Scouting Bureau.
Gowanlock recorded 40 tackles, including 3 tackles for a loss, and 1.5 quarterback sacks in the nine games the 6-3 and 230 pound native of Duncan, B.C. played during his fourth season as a Bison.
Joining Gowanlock as potential draftees are receiver Macho Bockru and offensive lineman Ryan Wengelinski who received the sixth and eleventh most votes by conference head coaches.
Vincent Massey Winnipeg product, University of North Dakota lineman Mason Bennett, is the highest-rated Manitoban going into the draft at No. 10 in that final spring CSB ranking that was revealed earlier this month.
And because five of the top nine rated prospects on that list were either taken in last week’s NFL Draft, or signed as free undrafted free agents afterwards, there is a good chance Bennett could be among the first nine names called out Thursday night by CFL general managers.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers surrendered their ninth overall first round selection to Toronto when the decision was made to re-sign Quarterback Zach Collaros. So the defending Grey Cup champs won’t have a pick until late in the second round at No.18.
Earlier this month, GM Kyle Walters told a media conference call he was confident the Blue Bombers will still be able to add a quality player even at that stage of the draft. He also predicted that none of the nine teams would have the same top 18 ranked players on their respective draft boards.