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CFL: Toronto Argonauts 2023 Draft Review And Recap

The 2023 CFL Draft is in the books. The Grey Cup Champion Toronto Argonauts have added ten new players to their championship roster through the national and international selection process.

The Argos did not have a first-round selection this year because they traded their #9th pick overall to the B.C. Lions for the first overall pick in the 2020 CFL Draft. Outstanding Canadian linebacker Jordan Williams.

However, as proven recently, Toronto has had great contributions in its later rounds with Canadian players like Kurleigh Gittens Jr., Trevor Hoyte, Jack Cassar, and Robbie Smith.

Will the Argonauts repeat that success? Let’s take an in-depth look at the players they drafted in the 2023 CFL Draft.

Toronto Argonauts 2023 CFL Draft Recap/Review

ROUND 2, Selection #16: Jared Wayne, WR, Pittsburgh

With their first selection in the 2023 CFL Draft, the Toronto Argonauts took a lottery ticket in University of Pittsburgh standout wide receiver Jared Wayne.

Wayne went undrafted in last week’s NFL Draft. However, he has signed on with the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent.

The 6’3 Ontario native, with a 42-inch vertical leap, is coming off a breakthrough season at Pitt, which saw him net 60 receptions for 1,063 yards and five touchdowns. From a talent and collegiate production standpoint, Wayne is arguably the most skilled Canadian in this year’s draft.

This is a gamble on the Argos’ part, but not an unexpected one, considering the team is operating from a position of luxury rather than necessity.

The Boatmen are definitely rolling the dice here. After all, the Texans signed Jared Wayne to an undrafted deal that includes $210,000 guaranteed with a $10,000 signing bonus and $200,000 of the Canada native’s Paragraph 5 base salary guaranteed.

As a result, Wayne may never see the light of day in an Argonauts’ uniform.

However, the Grey Cup champs just witnessed the return of 2018 first-round selection offensive linemen Ryan Hunter, who, last season, helped guide them to a championship. Perhaps, history can repeat itself again with Jared Wayne in the not-too-distant future.

Round 3, Selection #27: Adam Guillemette, LS, Holy Cross

As true evidence that the CFL Draft is different. And ultimately, that the Toronto Argonauts have entered this process in a position of strength. The Boatmen selected a long snapper with their second pick. Holy Cross’s Adam Guillemette.

The 6’1, 220lb Cambridge, Ontario native, and Patriot League standout was one of three long snappers invited to the CFL Invitational Combine along with Pierre-Gabriel Germain of Montreal and Luke Burton-Krahn of the University of British Columbia.

With longtime great specialist, Jake Reinhart retired and returning veteran Max Latour as the incumbent replacement at long snapper. The Argos are looking toward their future by selecting Guillemette.

Round 4, Selection #36: Spencer Nichols, FB/H-Back, Western University

For the second year in a row, the Toronto Argonauts have selected a running back in the upper portion of their draft. This time, it’s Western’s, Spencer Nichols. The six-foot-two, 226-pound fullback will likely fill the same rookie role that special teams standout Daniel Adeboboye served a season ago.

And like the Argos third-round pick, Adam Guillemette, Nichols could be in line to replace another retired Argo great in fullback Declan Cross. But first, he will learn behind free-agent pickup Mario Villamizar.

Round 5, Selection #45: Edouard Paradis, OL, Houston Baptist University

Many in the CFL Draft process thought of Edouard Paradis as one of the meanest and most physical players in this draft. The 6’4, 320lb guard/tackle is a raw talent that needs molding, but he has a chance to fit in with the Argos’ most recent successful offensive line selections in the draft because of his play-to-the-whistle style.

Round 6, Selection #47: Richard Burton, WR, Queen’s

Richard Burton, a second-team U Sports All-Canadian, ran a 4.67-second forty-yard dash at the CFL Combine after measuring five-foot-eleven and 189 pounds. The first-team OUA all-star was a very productive receiver for the Golden Gaels.

CFL scouts have raved about Burton’s hands and elite route-running skills. He is not a flashy athlete by any means, but he could find a role in the future as an effective inside receiver who finds openings in zone defenses.

Round 6, Selection #54: Ife Onyemenam, LB, Wilfred-Laurier

Ife Onyemenam, the undersized Toronto native at six-foot and 214 pounds, was a first-team OUA all-star for the Golden Hawks. Wilfred Laurier’s leading tackler likely fell in this draft because of his size. The Argos’ great depth at linebacker could see Onyemenam as strictly a special teams contributor early on in his CFL career.

Round 7, Selection #63: Brendan Murphy, DB/LB, Western University

The Argos went to the Western well again in the draft. This time, selecting defensive back Brendan Murphy. Toronto believes they got a steal in Murphy because he is coming off a torn ACL. The injury not only prohibited him from competing at the Combine but will also keep Murphy off the field until September.

The six-foot, 223-pound transfer, originally from Guelph, is a tweener who can also play linebacker. Murphy had a productive collegiate career with 103 total tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 11 pass knockdowns, 7.5 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery over 29 career U Sports games.

Round 7, Selection #72: Anthony Vandal, OL, Sherbrooke

With the final pick in the CFL Draft, an honour bestowed upon each year’s Grey Cup Champion. The Argos selected OT Anthony Vandal from Sherbrooke. The three-time ‘Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) All-Star Left Tackle is likely headed inside to guard at just barely 6’3. That and a less-than-stellar showing of 12 reps on the bench press at the CFL Combine surely contributed to a fall in his draft stock.

Vandal, because of his potential position versatility, has a chance to be a quality depth piece. However, he will need to work on his strength training in the pros.

216Jared WayneWRPittsburgh
327Adam GuillemetteLSHoly Cross
436Spencer NicholsFBWestern
545Edouard ParadisOLHouston Christian
647Richard BurtonWRQueen’s
654Ife OnyemenamLBWilfrid Laurier
763Brendan MurphyDBWestern
872Anthony VandalOLSherbrooke

Toronto Argonauts Overall Draft Analysis

For the second year in a row, the Boatmen entered this process with very few glaring needs, so the team was able to operate from a position of luxury.

The Argos were drafting for 2024 and beyond. That was the theme of their draft. Jared Wayne might be a 2026 player for the Boatmen. But it’s a gamble Michael Pinball Clemons, and his excellent support staff was willing to take.

No surprise that Toronto’s first few picks after Wayne focused on special teams. You just knew that long snapper and fullback would be two areas they addressed early.

Most teams are not looking for those positions in the early stages of the draft. So it allowed the Argos to select their highest-ranked players on their board at those spots.

The Double Blue are doubling down on their past success of finding key contributors, particularly late in their draft on special teams.

Rather than digging deep for standouts on a roster that has plenty. The Boatmen went into this looking for role players.

In case you missed it, Earlier on Tuesday, the CFL conducted its annual Global Draft. The Toronto Argonauts, who drafted East Division All-Star Punter John Haggerty through the international selection process a year, added two more promising international prospects this year. Kicker/Punter Alfred Gachuz Lozada (Mexico) and Linebacker Emmanuel Falola.

Lozada, the all-time leading field goal kicker in the Conference Premier, could have a long-term future in Canada because of his versatility as a kicker, punter, and kickoff specialist.

Like current Argos kicker Boris Bede, the ability to serve two roles is a lifesaver for roster mechanics on game day. Depending on what happens in Lozada’s tryout with the Pittsburgh Steelers, a practice roster spot similar to the one Toshiki Sato held with the Boatmen recently could be in the cards for him.

Linebacker Emmanuel Falola is more of a project for the future than Lozada. He graded out favorably at the CFL Combine with a 39.5-inch vertical leap. The 6’2, 230lb explosive linebacker has a well-decorated career internationally. An NFL international pathway player who recently signed with the Prague Lions of the European League Of Football, Falola, because of his athleticism and tenacity, has a chance to stick in Canada as a developmental reserve linebacker with a potential starting role on special teams.


TORONTO – The Toronto Argonauts added two Global players to their roster Tuesday afternoon during the CFL’s 2023 Global Draft.

19Alfredo Gachuz LozadaKNaucalpan Raptors
218Emmanuel FalolaLBPrague Lions

Alfredo Gachuz Lozada, 5’10 and 225lbs, will attend the Pittsburgh Steelers rookie camp mini-camp this month. The kicker played in the LFA in Mexico for the Naucalpan Raptors and is the league’s all-time leader in points scored and field goals made, was the league’s scoring leader five times, an all-star twice, and special teams Most Valuable Player once. He trains with former NFL kicker Nick Novak.

Emmanuel Falola, 6’2 and 230lbs, signed with the Prague Lions of the European Football League in 2023. The Great Britain national team linebacker suited up for the Bristol Aztecs in the Premiership of the British league helping the team make a deep playoff run in 2022. Prior to his time with Bristol, Falola played for the Kent Exiles and for Coventry of the university league second division, leading both teams in tackles and guiding Coventry to back-to-back championships in 2018 and 2019. The linebacker was also a member of the NFL International Pathway Program, designed to increase the number of non-American and Canadian players in the NFL and to grow the game globally. Current Argonaut Tigie Sankoh also came out of the NFL IPP.

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Mike Mitchell Reporter
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