Linden Gaydosh cracked a couple of beers at home in Peace River, Alta., on Monday, to celebrate after the Hamilton Tiger-Cats selected him with the first-overall pick of the CFL college draft.
He called the moment, “a dream come true.”
The Ticats said they wanted to draft a player who could make an immediate impact: The 6-foot-3, 314-pound defensive lineman out of the University of Calgary seems to fit the bill.
Other teams suggested they are willing to wait a little longer to see their prospects in the CFL, opting to use high picks Monday on top-rated Canadians currently getting opportunities in the NFL or those who plan to play another U.S. NCAA season.
It was the first draft pick for new Ticats general manager and head coach Kent Austin, who says he envisions Gaydosh playing defensive tackle. Gaydosh was a standout at the CFL combine held in March, posting one of the top results in the bench press.
“I’m a very physical guy, I enjoy the 1-on-1 battles in the middle,” Gaydosh said during his post-draft teleconference. “I like being inside, where it’s pure man-on-man, physical strength. That’s what I really, really love about the game.”
Playing for the Dinos over the last four years, Gaydosh recorded 901/2 tackles, seven quarterback sacks and 14 tackles for a loss and helped his team win four consecutive Canada West titles. He was a CIS second-team all-Canadian in 2012, and earned his second consecutive Canada West all-star nod. He was the third-rated prospect in the CFL’s Central Scouting Bureau rankings.
Several of Central Scouting’s top-rated players will be playing in the U.S. next season, so that had some impact on when they were drafted Monday.
University of Oregon linebacker Bo Lokombo was the top-rated prospect, but he’s returning to the Ducks next season and has NFL hopes, so he fell to the third round, chosen 21st overall by the B.C. Lions.
University of Regina defensive lineman Stefan Charles was ranked No. 2, but has already signed a free-agent deal with the Tennessee Titans, so he fell to the second round, chosen 10th overall by the Edmonton Eskimos.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers selected Eastern Michigan defensive end Andy Mulumba second overall (rated No. 5), despite the fact he has signed with the Green Bay Packers.
With the eighth pick, the Toronto Argonauts went with No. 4-ranked Matt Sewell, the 6-foot-8, 335-pound offensive lineman from McMaster, who is also now with the Titans.