Lineman tops CFL’s first Scouting Bureau’s top-20

The Canadian Press

TORONTO – Alaric Jackson, an offensive lineman at the University of Iowa, has the No. 1 spot in the first edition of the CFL scouting bureau’s top-20 prospects for the 2021 draft.

The six-foot-six, 315-pound Jackson is a native of Windsor, Ont. He’s entering his senior season at Iowa, which kicks off its ’20 campaign Oct. 24 at Purdue.

Jackson started 10 of Iowa’s 13 games last season at left tackle. He redshirted in 2016 but has started for the Hawkeyes since 2017.

The CFL released its top-20 list Thursday.

Calgary’s Amen Ogbongbemiga, a senior linebacker at Oklahoma State University, was the second-ranked prospect. The six-foot-one, 235-pound Ogbongbemiga has registered a team-high 22 tackles (12 solo) and 1.5 sacks in three games for the No.10 Cowboys (3-0).

Ogbongbemiga had 100 tackles last season and was named the Cowboys’ top defensive player.

Vancouver’s Terrell Jana, a receiver at Virginia (1-1), is at No. 3. The six-foot-one, 200-pound Jana has nine catches for 84 yards and a TD this season after registering 74 receptions for 886 yards and three touchdowns in 2019.

Josh Palmer of Brampton, Ont., a receiver at Tennessee, holds down the No. 4 spot. The six-foot-two, 210-pound senior has 10 receptions for 156 yards and two TDs for the Volunteers (2-0).

At No. 5 is Ottawa’s Liam Dobson, a six-foot-three, 340-pound senior offensive lineman at Maine. Dobson’s ranking comes despite the Bears not starting their season until the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dobson enjoyed a stellar ’19 campaign, earning All-CAA first-team honours and being voted as Maine’s top offensive lineman. He was the school’s highest-graded offensive lineman for every game and averaged 12 knockdowns per contest.

Dobson contributed immediately upon arriving at Maine in 2017, appearing in six contests (one start) as a freshman. He became a full-time starter in 2018.

The remainder of the top-10 includes, in order, includes: New Mexico State offensive lineman Sage Doxtater (Welland, Ont.); North Carolina State defensive lineman Daniel Joseph (Toronto); North Carolina defensive back Patrice Rene (Ottawa); Maine linebacker Deshawn Stevens (Toronto); and West Virginia defensive back Alonzo Addae (Pickering, Ont.).

The first 10 selections were all from NCAA programs, not a surprise given U Sports cancelled its 2020 season due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. The top Canadian collegian was Montreal offensive lineman Pier-Olivier Lestage, of Saint-Eustache, Que., at No. 11.

The other U Sports selections included Calgary Dinos offensive lineman Logan Bandy of Calgary (No. 12), Saskatchewan defensive back Nelson Lokombo of Abbotsford, B.C. (No. 14), British Columbia linebacker Ben Hladik of Vernon, B.C., (No. 16), Calgary linebacker Grant McDonald of Tsawwassen, B.C. (No. 19) and U.B.C. linebacker Nick Cross of Regina (No. 20).

Defensive back Deane Leonard, who helped Calgary win the Vanier Cup last year before transferring to Ole Miss for 2020, was ranked. No. 13.