The Toronto Argonauts had a busy 2023 CFL Draft, making ten selections throughout eight rounds. The team added a mix of Canadian and international talent with an eye on the short-term and long-term future.
The Argos’ draft class is headlined by Jared Wayne, a wide receiver from Pittsburgh who was selected in the second round. Wayne is a dynamic playmaker who could add a new dimension to the Argos’ offense. Argos has also signed FCS superstar Deonta McMahon after the draft to improve their team further.
In the 2023 CFL Draft, the Toronto Argonauts chose Jared Wayne, a standout wide receiver from the University of Pittsburgh who was not selected in the NFL Draft and signed with the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent. Despite being a gamble for the Argos, it is unsurprising, given their favorable position.
Wayne is arguably the most talented Canadian in this year’s draft based on his 60 receptions for 1,063 yards, five touchdowns in his breakthrough season at Pitt, and impressive physical attributes, including a 6’3″ height and 42-inch vertical leap. Although Wayne has a guaranteed contract with the Texans, there is still a chance he could play for the Argonauts and repeat the team’s success with 2018 first-round selection offensive linemen Ryan Hunter.
The Toronto Argonauts’ choice of a long snapper with their second pick in the CFL Draft indicates how this draft differs from others and how the Argonauts are in a strong position. With veteran specialist Jake Reinhart retired and Max Latour as the incumbent replacement at long snapper, the Argos are securing their future by choosing Guillemette.
The Toronto Argonauts have demonstrated a consistent strategy of selecting running backs early in the draft for two consecutive years, with Spencer Nichols from Western being the latest pick. At six-foot-two and 226 pounds, Nichols is a fullback who will likely assume a similar role as last year’s special team star, Daniel Adeboboye, did in his rookie year. Still, he will train under Mario Villamizar, a free-agent acquisition, to develop his skills.
Edouard Paradis was regarded as one of the most brutal and aggressive players in this year’s CFL Draft. The 6’4″ and 320lb guard/tackle is a raw talent that requires further development, but his relentless style of play has the potential to fit in with the Toronto Argonauts’ recent successful offensive line picks in the draft.
Richard Burton, a second-team U Sports All-Canadian and a first-team OUA all-star completed the CFL Combine by recording a 4.67-second forty-yard dash at five-foot-eleven and 189 pounds. As a receiver for the Golden Gaels, Burton was highly productive. CFL scouts have praised his excellent route-running skills and hands, though he may not be the most dynamic athlete.
He has the potential to become an efficient inside receiver who can exploit openings in zone defenses in the future. Burton has given Argos fans hope and tempted fans worldwide to bet on Argos, especially their big fans from Ontario, who can easily bet using Ontario Sportsbooks.
Ife Onyemenam, a Toronto native at six feet and weighing 214 pounds, was recognized as a first-team OUA all-star for his outstanding performance with the Golden Hawks. However, his size might have been a factor in his draft position. Although he was Wilfred Laurier’s top tackler, the Argonauts’ substantial linebacker depth may limit his role to special teams in the initial stages of his CFL career.
The Argos picked Brendan Murphy from Western in the draft despite his recent ACL injury, which will keep him out of the game until September. At six feet and 223 pounds, he can play as a linebacker and defensive back. Murphy had an impressive collegiate career with 103 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 11 pass knockdowns, 7.5 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery over 29 U Sports games. Toronto believes they got a steal in him.
Anthony Vandal, a three-time RSEQ All-Star Left Tackle from Sherbrooke, was the final pick of the CFL Draft, as is tradition for the Grey Cup Champion. At 6’3, Vandal may move inside to guard due to his height, and his low performance of only 12 reps on the bench press at the CFL Combine likely impacted his draft stock.
Overall, the Argos had a successful 2023 CFL Draft. They added a mix of Canadian and international talent with an eye on the short-term and long-term future. The team’s new draft picks will have a chance to compete for playing time in training camp, and they could impact the Argos’ roster in 2023.
Global Draft Picks
In addition to their eight draft picks, the Argos added two players through the Global Draft.
Lozada is a talented kicker and punter who has played in the LFA in Mexico. He is the league’s all-time leader in points scored, field goals made, and scoring leader five times. Lozada could be a valuable addition to the Argos’ special teams, and he could help the team improve its field goal percentage and punting average.
Emmanuel Falola, a 6’2, 230lb linebacker, recently signed in the European Football League with the Prague Lions. Falola played for the Bristol Aztecs in the Premiership of the British league, helping the team to a deep playoff run in 2022. He also played for the Kent Exiles and Coventry, leading both teams in tackles and guiding Coventry to back-to-back championships in 2018 and 2019. Falola was part of the NFL International Pathway Program, which aims to increase the number of non-American and Canadian players in the NFL and grow the game globally.
The Toronto Argonauts made ten selections in the 2023 CFL Draft, picking up Canadian and international talent to improve the team’s short-term and long-term future. Dontae Bull, a physical cornerback, and Jared Wayne, a big-play receiver, stand out among the recruits. The team’s recent draft picks will have a chance to compete for playing time in training camp and could impact the Argos’ roster in 2023.
Additionally, the team added two players through the Global Draft: Alfred Gachuz Lozada, a talented kicker and punter from Mexico, and Emmanuel Falola, a multi-talented linebacker from the Czech Republic.
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