2023 CFL Mock Draft: Who’ll be the first pick off the board?

Max Thannhauser & Brandon Diprose

It’s almost time. Not only is the CFL Draft the unofficial signal that the beginning of the upcoming season is imminent, but also a celebration of Canadian football. This Tuesday at 8pm eastern time, 72 young men – the vast majority of whom have played either high school or collegiate football in Canada – are about to receive career changing calls to play the sport they love at a professional level; in other words a dream come true that many of us grew up with. Here at CFC, we have been covering virtually all of these athletes in some capacity for years, and it gives all of us great joy to see them reach the CFL.

Now just a few things before we get going:

We are going to mock the FIRST THREE ROUNDS of the 2023 CFL Draft. Brandon Diprose will make all the odd number selection and will therefore pick first. Maximus Thannhauser will make all the even numbered picks. NO TRADES. Though trades happen in every draft, when they will happen as well as the compensation going to each team is virtually impossible to predict and we do not want to bog this mock draft down with hypotheticals.

And with that, Brandon and the Ottawa REDBLACKS are on the clock!

Round 1

1. Ottawa REDBLACKS: CFC100 Jonathan Sutherland, Defensive Back (Penn State)

Brandon: With 3 picks in the first 2 rounds Ottawa has a lot of options. The real decider is if Ottawa thinks they are in win-now mode. The athleticism and versatility of Penn State DB Jonathan Sutherland is hard to pass up. Starting with, and learning, from outstanding vet Abdul Kanneh could see him become a shutdown defender for years to come.

2. Edmonton Elks: CFC100 Lwal Uguak, Defensive Line (Texas Christian)

Maximus: Edmonton has no shortage of needs to shore up their roster, especially on the defensive front seven. Hometown kid Uguak just played in the FBS National Championship, and could very well end up starting from day 1. At 6’5” and 270lbs, the Edmonton native can play both the run and the pass, and his game translates to the CFL more than it does to the American game.

3. Saskatchewan Roughriders: CFC100 Dontae Bull, Offensive Line (Fresno State)

Brandon: Perhaps more than any other CFL team, the Riders have a glaring need that they need to address that being their offensive line. New quarterback Trevor Harris can sling it and the skill positions are up there with anyone, but without adequate protection it will all be for naught. Bull is an absolute mountain of a man and could start at either tackle position week 1.

4. Calgary Stampeders: CFC100 Michael Brodrique, Linebacker (Montreal)

Maximus: After losing both Jameer Thurman and Fraser Sopik in free agency, the Stamps are a little thin at linebacker. Brodrique is build like a prototype CFL linebacker and will be an instant contributor on special teams and could quickly develop into a starter on defense next to Cameron Judge to form a ratio-breaking duo in the middle of Brett Monson’s defence.

5. Montreal Alouettes: CFC100 Jared Wayne, Wide Receiver (Pittsburg)

Brandon: If you want a blueprint for a modern CFL star receiver, look no further than Jared Wayne. Long, sturdy and possessing an enormous catch radius, Wayne will contribute as soon as he crosses the border. This is a somewhat risky pick because of the former Pitt Panther’s NFL interest, but Montreal has to take big swings if they want to get back into contention after watching so many of their impact players walk out the door.



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