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Ticats pick Boston College tight end Jake Burt No. 1 in CFL draft

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats opened the 2021 Canadian Football League draft Tuesday night by selecting Boston College tight end Jake Burt with the first overall pick.

Burt, who was born in Regina, Sask. and raised in Boston, Mass., played 36 games over five years with the Eagles where he made 23 receptions for 307 yards and two touchdowns.

After making Burt the first pick in the draft, Hamilton signed the 24-year-old to a three-year contract.

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The 6-foot-4, 260-pound Burt signed as an undrafted free agent with the New England Patriots last year and spent the 2020 NFL season on the team’s practice roster but has since been released.

With the ninth overall selection in the six-round draft, the Ticats selected University of British Columbia linebacker Nick Cross.

The Regina native was the 20th ranked prospect by the CFL Scouting Bureau and was an All-Canadian in 2019 after registering 66.5 tackles, a sack and an interception for the Thunderbirds.

Read more: Blue Bombers grab lineman Liam Dobson with 3rd overall pick in CFL draft

With the 18th overall pick in the draft, Hamilton selected Ole Miss defensive back Deane Leonard and followed up by taking Central Michigan linebacker Mohamed Diallo 19th overall.

Leonard, from Calgary, recorded 14 total tackles and a fumble recovery for the Rebels in 2020.

Diallo, who is from Toronto, had nine tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble and a fumble recover last year with the Chippewas.

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McMaster University’s Tommy Nield was selected in the fourth round, 30th overall, by the Toronto Argonauts.

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The Guelph native was a second-team OUA all-star receiver in 2019.

The Tiger-Cats grabbed Saint Mary’s linebacker Jarek Richards at No. 36 and Laval fullback Felix Garand-Gauthier 37th overall.

Richards, who is from Montreal, made 52 total tackles in 2019, as well as 4.5 tackles for a loss and one forced fumble.

Garand-Gauthier is a native of Mirabel, Quebec and was a RESQ all-star and a member of the U Sports  second offensive all-star team in 2019.

With the final pick in the draft, Hamilton selected Western University linebacker Myles Manalo of Burlington, Ont.

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