Edmonton Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly has reclaimed his top spot in the CFL on TSN’s Top 50 Players ranking this year after finishing second in last season’s rankings.
Reilly, who was No. 1 in the 2016 Top 50 Players rankings, returned to the top of the list after being named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player last season and leading the league in passing yards (5,830) and touchdowns (30).
The Top 50 Players were compiled using votes from media members across the league as well as our TSN CFL commentators.
Last year’s No. 1, Bo Levi Mitchell, fell just one spot to the No. 2 ranking this year after leading the Calgary Stampeders to their second straight Grey Cup Final. Mitchell finished third in the league in passing with 4,700 yards and 23 touchdowns, but his record in Grey Cups fell to below .500.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers running back Andrew Harris is the highest-ranked Canadian on the list, coming in at No. 3. Harris led the league in offensive yards last season, finishing with 1,035 rushing yards and 857 receiving yards. The Winnipeg native was just 143 receiving yards away from becoming the first CFL player ever to record 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season, an accomplishment he has his sights set on for 2018.
Two linebackers round out the Top 5 in the BC Lions’ Solomon Elimimian and the Calgary Stampeders’ Alex Singleton. Elimimian broke his own single-season record for tackles last year with 144, while Singleton finished second in the category with 123 and was named the league’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player.
Grey Cup champion Ricky Ray was the third ranked quarterback on the list, coming in at No. 6 after being ranked No. 27 a year ago.
Ottawa Redblacks slotback Greg Ellingson was the highest-rated receiver, finishing No. 7 in the rankings and narrowly edging out Duron Carter of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who finished No. 8 on the list.
Roughriders DE Willie Jefferson was the top defensive lineman, ranked No. 10. Blue Bombers OT Stanley Bryant was the top offensive lineman, ranked No. 12. Roughriders HB Ed Gainey was the top defensive back, ranked No. 15.
Diontae Spencer (No. 24) and Chris Rainey (No. 41) made the list in part due to their special teams work, while Justin Medlock was the lone kicker included in the rankings, finishing at No. 42.
Toronto Argonauts running back and the league’s Most Outstanding Rookie for 2017 James Wilder was the second-highest rated newcomer to the list, ranked just one spot behind Jefferson at No. 11.
Notable players left off this year’s rankings include slotback Adarius Bowman, ranked No. 3 last year, quarterback Jonathon Jennings, ranked No. 5, and offensive tackle Derek Dennis, ranked No. 9.
The Blue Bombers lead the way with nine players on the Top 50 list, followed by the Roughriders with eight. The Redblacks and Hamilton Tiger-Cats have seven players on the list each while the Argonauts have six. The Eskimos, Stampeders, and Lions have four players each on the list while the Montreal Alouettes finished with just one, free-agent signing Tommie Campbell.
Nine national players made the Top 50 rankings.
CFL on TSN Top 50 Players - 2018
|1||Mike Reilly||QB||Edmonton Eskimos||2|
|2||Bo Levi Mitchell||QB||Calgary Stampeders||1|
|3||Andrew Harris||RB||Winnipeg Blue Bombers||12|
|4||Solomon Elimimian||LB||BC Lions||4|
|5||Alex Singleton||LB||Calgary Stampeders||47|
|6||Ricky Ray||QB||Toronto Argonauts||27|
|7||Greg Ellingson||SB||Ottawa Redblacks||25|
|8||Duron Carter||WR||Saskatchewan Roughriders||35|
|9||SJ Green||SB||Toronto Argonauts||NR|
|10||Willie Jefferson||DE||Saskatchewan Roughriders||NR|
|11||James Wilder||RB||Toronto Argonauts||NR|
|12||Stanley Bryant||OT||Winnipeg Blue Bombers||44|
|13||Charleston Hughes||DE||Saskatchewan Roughriders||7|
|14||Matt Nichols||QB||Winnipeg Blue Bombers||28|
|15||Ed Gainey||HB||Saskatchewan Roughriders||NR|
|16||Bryan Burnham||SB||BC Lions||15|
|17||Micah Johnson||DT||Calgary Stampeders||45|
|18||Adam Bighill||LB||Winnipeg Blue Bombers||NR|
|19||Trevor Harris||QB||Ottawa Redblacks||24|
|20||Derel Walker||WR||Edmonton Eskimos||NR|
|21||Almondo Sewell||DT||Edmonton Eskimos||13|
|22||Brandon Banks||WR||Hamilton Tiger-Cats||NR|
|23||Chris Randle||CB||Winnipeg Blue Bombers||NR|
|24||Diontae Spencer||WR/KR||Ottawa Redblacks||NR|
|25||Naaman Roosevelt||SB||Saskatchewan Roughriders||32|
|26||William Powell||RB||Ottawa Redblacks||NR|
|27||Sean McEwen||C||Toronto Argonauts||NR|
|28||Kyries Hebert||LB||Ottawa Redblacks||NR|
|29||Jerome Messam||RB||Saskatchewan Roughriders||8|
|30||TJ Heath||HB||Toronto Argonauts||33|
|31||Larry Dean||LB||Hamilton Tiger-Cats||NR|
|32||Richard Leonard||HB||Hamilton Tiger-Cats||NR|
|33||Brendon LaBatte||OG||Saskatchewan Roughriders||NR|
|34||Manny Arceneaux||SB||BC Lions||6|
|35||Tommie Campbell||CB||Montreal Alouettes||39|
|36||Maurice Leggett||HB||Winnipeg Blue Bombers||16|
|37||Luke Tasker||SB||Hamilton Tiger-Cats||43|
|38||Ciante Evans||CB||Calgary Stampeders||NR|
|39||Taylor Loffler||S||Winnipeg Blue Bombers||40|
|40||Ted Laurent||DT||Hamilton Tiger-Cats||26|
|41||Chris Rainey||RB/KR||BC Lions||17|
|42||Justin Medlock||K||Winnipeg Blue Bombers||22|
|43||Darvin Adams||WR||Winnipeg Blue Bombers||NR|
|44||Matt O'Donnell||OG||Edmonton Eskimos||NR|
|45||Chris Van Zeyl||OT||Toronto Argonauts||NR|
|46||Travis Bond||OG||Free Agent||50|
|47||SirVincent Rogers||OT||Ottawa Redblacks||38|
|48||Simoni Lawrence||LB||Hamilton Tiger-Cats||14|
|49||Jeremiah Masoli||QB||Hamilton Tiger-Cats||NR|
|50||Brad Sinopoli||SB||Ottawa Redblacks||NR|