On Thursday the Roughriders signed OT Jerald Hawkins to a CFL contract. Details of the contract are not yet known. Hawkins has bounced around the NFL since getting drafted out of LSU in the 4th round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Hawkins played 19 NFL games over his 5-year pro career for the Pittsburgh Steelers & Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He managed to start 1 game with the Steelers during his time in Pittsburgh. He was mostly recently on the New Orleans Saints practice squad before being released at the end of August.
Hawkins stands at 6’6 and 305 pounds. He immediately becomes the Riders second tallest player behind QB Jake Dolegala. The sheer size of Hawkins will give the Riders an interesting option for their offensive line in 2023. While playing for the LSU Tigers in college he started 25 games at right tackle and 12 at left tackle, so he also gives the Riders some versatility at tackle.
The Roughriders went through several right tackles during the 2022 season in hopes of keeping pressure off of quarterbacks Cody Fajardo and Mason Fine. Fajardo’s mishaps ultimately led to Mason Fine becoming the starting QB in late October. The Riders finished a disappointing 6-12 and struggled on offense all year. The addition of Hawkins might help solve some of the problems that the offensive line had in 2022.
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