Saturday, May 05, 2012

The future begins with a pick

The CFL held its annual draft this past week, a two day process that offered up some depth for some and some immediate fixes for others.

The league's eight General Managers scrolled up and down their lists, seeking the best fit for their requirements, looking for the one pick that could make the difference in the years to come.

Owing to their less than successful year of 2011, the Saskatchewan Roughriders had the first opportunity to stock the shelves and with that made Ben Heenan the top pick of the 2012 draft, the University of Saskatoon Huskie, set to be a dominant force on the Riders offensive line.

Regina Leader Post-- Saskatchewan Roughriders pick Ben Heenan at No. 1
Regina Leader Post-- Ben Heenan found his way at Regina's Sheldon-Williams Collegiate
TSN-- Riders take Huskies OL Heenan first in CFL Canadian Draft
Globe and Mail-- Roughriders take Ben Heenan with first pick in CFL draft
Globe and Mail-- Huskies OL Heenan projected to be top pick
Globe and Mail-- Roughriders have tough decision to make
National Post-- Riders stay close to home with top pick
Calgary Sun-- Roughriders get their man

Heenan was the anticipated first pick overall, with his selection out of the way, the jockeying for players and consultations with scouts provided for the remainder of the names to be remembered in the years to come.

The reviews of draft day and some of the factors leading put to it, can be found below, as each CFL team started to fill out their plans for the 2012 season and beyond.

TSN-- 2012 Canadian Draft
TSN-- Video on Demand CFL Draft
TSN-- 2012 CFL Draft Top Prospects
TSN-- Duane Ford's CFL Coverage
TSN-- Issues with Losing the Best Canadian talent to NFL
CBC-- Riders make Huskies lineman Ben Heenan CFL's top pick
CBC-- McMaster's Quinlan leads CFL draft class

National Post-- CFL draft 2012 recap: Breaking down the first two rounds
National Post-- Five players to watch at the CFL draft
Ottawa Citizen-- NFL activity creating challenges for CFL teams ...
Sportsnet-- Canadian QB conundrum
Toronto Sun-- CFL GMs always get what they want

Montreal Alouettes Als top draft pick first played football at 16 Patrick Lavoie, 'good kid who loves football

Toronto Argonauts Luke Wilson, Shea Pierre go to Argonauts
Toronto Sun-- Argos tried, but... 

Hamilton Tiger Cats

Hamilton Spectator-- Cats sacrifice higher selection for more picks in CFL draft
Hamilton Spectator-- Central figure in Ticat draft has grown up at Ivor Wynne

Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Winnipeg Free Press-- Making do at the draft
Winnipeg Free Press-- Bombers pick up Tyson Pencer from Washington State

Saskatchewan Roughriders

Regina Leader Post-- Sherbrooke standouts eager to stick with Saskatchewan Roughriders
Regina Leader Post-- Linebacker Sam Hurl hopes to stick with Sasktachewan Roughriders

Calgary Stampeders

Calgary Herald-- Sack specialist tops Stampeders' CFL draft picks
Calgary Herald-- Stampeders add talent to well-stocked cupboard

Edmonton Eskimos

Edmonton Journal-- Eskimos grab big O-lineman Pasztor, flip picks to end up with ...
Edmonton Sun-- Eskimos wheelin' works out

BC Lions

Vancouver Province-- Wally Buono gets who he wants
Vancouver Sun-- B. C. Lions top pick Jabar Westerman "speechless" after being selected 2nd overall

A new season is just around the corner

As Hank used to say down in the States, "Are you ready for some football?"

As we prepare to follow another season of Canadian Football, we prepare to dust off the Twelve Men blog, digging around the corners, looking in the attic and wandering down to the basement to make ready our look at the 2012 season.

In the weeks to come we'll rebuild our team data base, review some of the developments in a very busy off season and gear up for the year ahead.

We plan on offering up some of the more familiar of items of the last few years, while reviewing those things that worked and those that perhaps didn't, changing the tone a bit and offering more commentary over the listing of content for the sake of content.

We also, aware as to how social media seems to be driving the sports agenda at times, will work to build up a catalogue of links and sites that offer up the best experience for the Canadian football fan.

It will be an evolving work in progress in the early going, if you have ideas you might wish to see on the pages of Twelve Men feel free to drop us a line and we'll see what works and what might not.

The training camps are set to open, confidence as always high heading into the training camp phase, followed by the cold reality that some teams will obviously be better prepared than others.

And such it has been through the 100 years of Canadian football, kickoff beckons on the Canada Day weekend, we have plans to be fully back on track well before that ball gets placed on the tee.