When it was announced by the CFL that they would have an All-Star Fan Ballot this year, my initial thought was that when the CFL did have an actual All-Star game that has been dormant since the last being played in 1988. I remember seeing that game as a kid which was held at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton. For that game, in particular, it was the defending Grey Cup Champions formally called the Edmonton Eskimos vs the CFL All-Stars. Edmonton would win that game 15-4.
SHORT HISTORY of CFL ALL-STAR GAMES
Historically speaking, the CFL All-Star game would only occur seldomly between its inception in 1955, and its final game thus far in 1988. Even then it was never conducted in consecutive years. Between those years, there only has been a total of 14 All-Star games played in 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1983, and 1988. For the most part, it was an East vs West All-Star game with only 6 of these games being played where it was the CFL All-Stars vs the previous season’s Grey Cup Champion. For these games, they were play in 1970 vs Ottawa, 1971 vs Montreal, 1972 vs Calgary, 1973 vs Hamilton, 1974 vs Ottawa, and in 1988 vs Edmonton. The games played from 1976 – 1983 were played with the East vs West format as it was previously done in the 1950s.
With that being said, I will give you my 2022 CFL All-Star picks and why I’m picking that player. I will add a quick note that of the CFL All-Star site, it will not be a full squad being picked. There is a total of 10 players to pick only. The breakdown is as follows as per the CFL:
1 Wide Receiver and or Slot Back
1 Running Back
1 Offensive Linemen
1 Special Team player
With that being said, let the debate begin.
I’m picking Zach Collaros for multiple reasons. Before the 2022 season was played, I placed him as a player that will win the 2022 MOP Award. My thoughts have not changed since. He’s a player that plays so calmly, cool, and collectively. His precision in picking apart defences, and hitting targets when the game is on the line also adds to his credibility of being the best quarterback in the CFL. He plays the game with ice in his veins. There is no panic with Zach Collaros. Even when mistakes are made, Zach finds a way to correct them.
Why Ka’Deem Carey? Throw his stats out the window which have also been great for a running back that can run, block, and catch. For me, he’s the total package as it would be comparable to Andrew Harris. Ka’Deem Carey takes a huge load off of whoever is a quarterback with Calgary whether it is Bo Levi Mitchell, Jake Maier, or of Tommy Stevens when needed. Do you need a big running play to close out a game and control the clock? Well, I feel Ka”Deem Carey is explosive in doing so. His yards after the catch from short screenplays, to a short run being stuffed at the line of scrimmage; he simply breaks plays open for big gains.
I’m throwing a bit of a curve ball here and going with a rookie in the wide receiver in Dalton Schoen. The fact that he has 1113 yards, 11 TDs, with under 60 receptions in doing so (57), along with a 19.5 yards per average is a great accomplishment for Dalton Schoen in 2022. His natural instinct for the open field and having the vision to create openness in tight coverage with yards after the catch has been very impressive to see as of yet.
The 12-year veteran has been the motherload of anchoring the offensive line with Winnipeg and previously with Calgary. For a fella that is 36 years old, he still plays with a nastiness while in the battle of the trenches. His longevity speaks for itself in the CFL in which he has been an integral part of pass protection, along with opening holes for the running game. For the record, I’m sure there are a lot of defenders out there that will look like a deer in the headlights when they see Stanley Bryant running down the field when it comes down to downfield blocking.
Any Ottawa REDBLACKS fan will tell you who is the best player on the REDBLACKS team right now, and Lorenzo Mauldin will probably be brought up on any shortlist of current roster players. Any rightfully so. Although he can play both linebacker and defensive end, I’m picking him for my defensive linemen spot. He is such a great pass rusher in the CFL that even when he is double-teamed, he still finds a way to disturb the opposing offensive flow of the game. He is making a strong case for winning a CFL Defensive Player of the Year on a terrible Ottawa team with 36 tackles and 14 sacks.
Another player who can also play both linebacker and the defensive line positions respectively. The versatile Shawn Lemon seems to show no signs of slowing down with Calgary. He will be a Hall of Fame player one day. His 25 tackles and 12 sacks thus far speak volumes about how he plays defence. He’s a player that attacks the offensive line to clog the running lanes and or applies pressure to the offensive backfield. Moreover, he can drop back into coverage and support the passing defence.
I’m picking a player in the defensive backfield that has a complete balance. The Toronto Argos secondary has taken the interception game to a whole new level in the last 6 weeks of play. One of those players is without a doubt, Jamal Peters. His ability to read, go on instinct, and anticipate a play has been very impressive to see for the 2022 season. In 12 games this season, he currently sits with 48 tackles and 6 interceptions.
Let’s just say that throughout his career, Rene Paredes has been consistent. Yes, we can talk about a missed field goal in big games at times in the playoffs. However, it’s a position that never gets any credit. Your quarterback can throw 4 interceptions in a game and for some reason, your team is still in the game. Then your kicker comes in for a game-winning field goal and misses. He then gets the blame. It’s an unforgiving position in football. Rene Paredes has always had a consistency of accuracy when closing out games.
The Australian-born and Western Kentucky product has looked good in 2022 with a punt average of 48.9 yards on 87 punts. He also has net yardage of 3269 yards, with his longest punt at 83 yards this season.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER
When you have depth at RB in Calgary, then you find ways to use your roster wisely. With that being said, what Peyton Logan has done as a rookie in punt and kickoff returns has been truly amazing. Peyton Logan currently has 612 yards in kickoff returns and 695 yards in punt returns.
That is my list for the 2022 CFL All-Star Team.
I will note that when adding players from the list chosen on the site, they do not have players on the list that can be placed in other positions. In this case as I mentioned with Shawn Lemon as a Linebacker, and Lorenzo Mauldin as my defensive lineman; the empty slot in the photo of picks resembles Shawn Lemon.
This now begs the question. Is the CFL All-Star game coming back?
Full coverage of the 2022 season on CFL News Hub.