Today marks the beginning of my 30-day countdown to the 2012 CFL Draft. I'll be posting an article on TSN.ca every day between now and the draft to help you to be fully prepared.
I'll use the first day of the countdown to provide a very brief overview of the draft and to outline what you can expect to find in this space between now and Draft Day.
While recent years have seen the CFL Draft become as much of a Mother's Day tradition as flowers and breakfast in bed, the 2012 version moves back to its previous weekday afternoon time slot.
The event takes place on Thursday, May 3 at 3pm et/Noon pt. and as always, you can follow all of the selections and transactions live on TSN and TSN.ca.
The draft order for the first two rounds is as follows:
2. Edmonton (pick acquired from Toronto in the Ricky Ray trade)
4. British Columbia (pick acquired from Montreal in the Sean Whyte trade)
(Winnipeg forfeited its first round pick in exchange for the selection of Kito Poblah in the 2011 Supplemental Draft)
7. British Columbia
8. Winnipeg (pick acquired from Saskatchewan in the Odell Willis trade)
(Edmonton forfeited its second round pick in exchange for the selection of Ted Laurent in the 2011 Supplemental Draft)
14. British Columbia
In terms of depth, draft classes tend to alternate between "strong" and "weak". There's no real explanation for this pattern but it has existed for close to a decade now, with the even numbered years clearly being deeper. Although the Class of 2012 appears unlikely to match the 2006 or 2008 crops, it is comparable to 2010.
At this point, I would rate the defensive line as the most impressive position group.
However, as usual, much will depend on the level of National Football League interest attracted by some of the top prospects in the class. While it's a foregone conclusion that Boise State defensive end Tyrone Crawford will be in the NFL next season, the status of players like Austin Pasztor, Christo Bilukidi, and Ameet Pall, to name a few, is less certain. They're part of a group of up to eight or nine draft eligible individuals who could find themselves in NFL training camps this summer.
Below is the upcoming series of articles and the dates on which they will be posted:
April 4: Meet The Prospects - Offence
April 5: Meet The Prospects - Defence
April 6: Draft Factors – What Influences A Prospect's Draft Position?
April 7: Your Questions Answered (ask your draft related questions via Twitter - @DuaneFordeTSN - I'll answer the "best" ones in Saturday's article)
April 8: Draft Rules I'd Like To See
April 9: The Future of Canadian QBs
April 10: Canadian Crisis – Part 1
April 11: Canadian Crisis – Part 2
April 12: Canadian Crisis – Part 3
April 13: Future Watch – Class of 2016
April 14: Future Watch – Class of 2015
April 15: Future Watch – Class of 2014
April 16: Future Watch – Class of 2013
April 17: Saskatchewan Roughriders Draft Profile
April 18: Toronto Argonauts Draft Profile
April 19: Hamlton Tiger-Cats Draft Profile
April 20: Montreal Alouettes Draft Profile
April 21: Calgary Stampeders Draft Profile
April 22: Edmonton Eskimos Draft Profile
April 23: Winnipeg Blue Bombers Draft Profile
April 24: B.C. Lions Draft Profile
April 25: Quarterback & Kicker Rankings
April 26: Running Back Rankings
April 27: Defensive Back Rankings
April 28: Receiver Rankings
April 29: Linebacker Rankings
April 30: Defensive Line Rankings
May 1: Offensive Line Rankings
May 2: Forde's 2012 Draft Board
In addition to the featured item, each day's article will include a Draft Notebook to keep you in the loop regarding any draft related developments and rumours.
You may have noticed that I'm not doing a mock draft. I get asked about this every year and the simplest explanation of why I don't do them is as follows:
In a league of only eight teams, a mock draft done by a person having (or perceived to have) a certain level of inside knowledge would influence the actual draft. It has nothing to do with me, specifically, being the person doing it. It's just the nature of the league and the flow of information. It would be completely different in a thirty-team league, where dozens of people provide in-depth draft coverage and analysis.
That's all for today. Tomorrow I'll provide a brief introduction to a number of prospects on the offensive side of the ball.