Monday, 27 February 2012

A Look at The Potential Alouettes Draft Plans on the Defensive Line

As the Montreal Alouettes management prepare their draft information for the CFL E-Camp. There is a good sense of what they could be targeting in this year’s selection process.

In recent history, general manager, Jim Popp has used the majority of his choices on offensive linemen. But given that it is not an urgent need; the Alouettes has cultivated many offensive linemen into full time starters or contributors on the roster.

One position they could address is replenishing the lack of non-imports on their defensive line. Management has high hopes for defensive end Chima Ihekwoaba being apart of the rotation. But the team isn’t deep in Canadian talent on their defensive line.

This year’s draft is full of big, fast, and smart defensive linemen.

Here are some players they could have on their radar.

Arnaud Gascon-Nadon, DL, Laval University: As mentioned in a previous column, it would make sense from a marketing perspective. Gascon-Nadon would represent another local player being churned out by the football mad province of Quebec.

But the team isn’t drafting based on where they’re from. But rather on what talent they could bring to the football club. He has had a successful CIS career winning a choke full of awards.

Contrary to the reports of any lower body issues, what was informed to me Gascon-Nadon is completely healthy and focused for this weekend in Toronto.

Could he play in the potential 3-4 defense that is starting to become reality for the Alouettes?

Gascon-Nadon is listed at 6’3, 250 pounds, depending on which coach you converse with. He could be considered as lean size to play defensive end in this alignment. If he was selected by the Alouettes, could it be as an edge rusher coming from the linebacker position?

Already there is a surplus of players in the second level of the defense, and could he feel comfortable playing with his hand off the ground?

We will find out in Toronto during the Sunday session of the one on one battle’s on the last day of E-Camp. But Gascon-Nadon is very high on a lot of team’s draft lists.

Jabar Westerman, DL, Eastern Michigan: He comes from a family full of football players as his brother Jamaal plays for the NFL’s New York Jets, and another sibling Jawann plays for Rutgers University.

At 6’2, 285 pounds Westerman has great size for the 3-4 defense. He could play in the middle of the line as an anchor, and on the edge. During the 2011 season, he accumulated four sacks, and had six tackles for a loss.

Not earth shattering numbers, but in this formation, the front three are not number crunchers. All Westerman will need to do is eat up space and allow his cohorts to swoop in for the tackle.

If he has a good E-Camp, his value would surge that could result in him not being available by the time the Alouettes make their first selection in the second round of the draft.

This is a player who has a lot to gain from this weekend’s camp. By the end of it, he could vault into the top-10 discussion of the draft.

Keep an eye

The Alouettes addressed their immediate lack of size in their defensive front by signing former B.C. Lions player Aaron Hunt.

Entering the season, Hunt will be 32 years old. But could he still play a full game?

Two other defensive linemen who could be on the team’s wish list is Western Mustangs, Michael Van Praet, who is listed at 6’1, 303 pounds, and Windsor Lancers, Seamus Postuma who is coming into E-Camp at 6’3, 300 pounds.

Both have the girth needed to eat up space in the middle. They could be available in the later rounds of the CFL draft. But they would be excellent rotational players that would fill in the non-import status requirement.

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1 comment:

  1. my als dark horse pick in the '12 draft is: I can't remember his name but he's a DE at georgia state at 6'5" and 295-lbs!!