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2021 CFL Draft Order

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats own the first selection in the 2021 CFL Draft

Friday, November 20, 2020 — TORONTO (November 21, 2020) – During TSN’s two-hour TV special Grey Cup Unite, Commissioner of the Canadian Football League (CFL), Randy Ambrosie unveiled the results from the random draw that was equally weighted across the nine CFL clubs for the 2021 CFL Draft order.

Below is the draft order for the 2021 CFL Draft. 

Round 1Round 2Round 3
1. Hamilton10. Montreal19. Hamilton
2. Saskatchewan11. Calgary20. Saskatchewan
3. Winnipeg12. Toronto21. Winnipeg
4. BC13. Ottawa22. BC
5. Edmonton14. Edmonton23. Edmonton
6. Ottawa15. BC24. Ottawa
7. Toronto16. Winnipeg25. Toronto
8. Calgary17. Saskatchewan26. Calgary
9. Hamilton via Montreal18. Hamilton27. Montreal
Round 4Round 5Round 6
28. Montreal37. Hamilton46. Montreal
29. Calgary38. Saskatchewan47. Calgary
30. Toronto39. Winnipeg48. Toronto
31. Ottawa40. BC49. Ottawa
32. Edmonton41. Edmonton50. Edmonton
33. Toronto via BC42. Ottawa51. BC
34. Winnipeg43. Toronto52. Winnipeg
35. Saskatchewan44. Calgary53. Saskatchewan
36. Hamilton45. Montreal54. Hamilton

Earlier in November the CFL announced tweaking its plans for its 2021 draft of Canadian players from U SPORTS in Canada, NCAA teams in the United States, and junior football.

General managers from the nine teams proposed the changes which were subsequently approved by the club presidents serving on the CFL’s Management Council.

Below are the changes along with the rationale for each one.

  • The draft order will be determined by a random draw that is equally weighted across the nine CFL clubs. Teams traditionally pick eligible players in an order based on their records in the previous season, with the team with the worst record choosing first, barring trades, to encourage parity. The 2020 CFL Draft followed that traditional format. But the CFL is not staging a season in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The 2021 CFL Draft will feature a “snake” format. That means that after teams pick in the first round, with the order determined by random draw, they will then pick in reverse order in the second round, and that pattern will continue. For example, the team that picks ninth in the first round will pick first in the second round.
  • The 2021 CFL Draft will be six rounds long instead of the traditional eight rounds. This is in recognition of the fact that 2021 CFL training camps will feature a “double cohort” of Canadian rookies, with a group from each of the 2020 and 2021 CFL Drafts.
  • There will be no territorial selections in the 2021 CFL Draft.

University-level football on each side of the Canada-US border has also made adjustments which could affect which players participate in the draft or are available to begin playing in the CFL in 2021.

In July, U SPORTS announced a one-time exemption to its Policy, which means that football players who did not have an opportunity to play Canadian university football this year because of the pandemic would be allowed another year of eligibility next year. In August, the NCAA Division 1 Board of Directors also decided to grant another year of eligibility to any Fall sport athletes denied an opportunity to compete this year because of COVID-19.

In light of these changes, the CFL will allow 2021 Draft eligible players to defer their Draft year to 2022.

The 2021 CFL Draft will be held next Spring. The exact date has not yet been determined.

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Mark Perry Editor
Mark Perry is the founder and editor of CFL News Hub. A dedicated and experienced football analyst, he has been providing comprehensive coverage of the sport since 2018.
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