Laurier defensive lineman Boateng performs well at CFL combine in Regina

Boateng performs well at CFL combine

He came to the CFL combine as the top-ranked prospect and Kwaku Boateng lived up to that billing.

The Wilfrid Laurier defensive end showed his athleticism in the individual drills before proving his pass-rush prowess in the one-on-one matchups Saturday in Regina. Boateng was ranked sixth on the CFL Scouting Bureau’s top-20 prospects list for the 2017 draft but with the top five players absent, Boateng was the highest-profile player at the two-day session.

“I felt like being so high was only a curse because you can only go down from there,” he said. “It definitely put a lot of pressure on me.”

It was hard to tell as the six-foot-one, 233-pound Boateng posted a 33.5-inch vertical and 40-yard dash time of 4.901 seconds. He only had 15 reps in the bench press but in one-on-one matchups he showed impressive pass-rush moves while also performing well in special-teams drills.

Boateng, who also met with eight of the nine CFL teams, downplayed his bench number but wasn’t happy with his broad jump of eight feet 7.75 inches.

“The bench, I think, is what it is,” he said. “But if could go back (to broad jump) I think I could get a better number but there’s no point in looking back and complaining now.

“I think my (game) tape shows I’ve been an effective defensive end and an effective pass rusher. I think that’s the most important piece of what scouts should be looking at.”

Winnipeg GM Kyle Walters was impressed with Boateng’s play Saturday.

“He’s 250 pounds, he’s strong,” Walters said, “You saw him get off the ball.

“He looked really, really good today from an athletic standpoint.”

Winnipeg owns three of the first 15 picks of the draft, including the first and sixth overall. But Walters didn’t come away with a clear idea of which player he’ll take first overall.

“I think maybe some of the kids you graded high versus the kid that maybe graded a little bit low, they had some good reps, they had some bad reps,” he said. “Now we’ll sit down and have to watch this film a lot more closely over the next couple of weeks and go back and watch some more game film.

“It’s a lot more work now.”

The absence of many of the top-ranked prospects gave others the opportunity to shine before CFL officials.

One player who excelled was Johnny Augustine. The five-foot-nine, 202-pound running back from Guelph, ran a 4.68-second 40-yard dash, posted 22 reps in the bench event and had a 30.5-inch vertical but excelled in the one-on-one blocking drills but was especially nifty running pass routes.

Augustine also participated in special-teams drills.

Another interesting prospect is Anthony Gosselin, a six-foot-one, 251-pound running back from Sherbrooke. He had 30 reps in the bench press and a 40-yard dash time of 4.734 seconds before performing well in the one-on-one blocking drills.

Evan Foster, a five-foot-11, 225-pound defensive lineman from Manitoba, showed his versatility by performing in the one-on-one drills at linebacker.

Mason Woods, a hulking offensive lineman from Idaho, came to the combine being mentioned as a potential first overall selection. But the native of Port Coquitlam, B.C., was vulnerable facing smaller defensive linemen who gained leverage on the towering six-foot-nine, 324-pound Woods.

Simon Fraser linebacker Jordan Herdman arrived looking to improve upon his pro-day tests. On March 14, Herdman was solid in the bench press (23 reps) and broad jump (nine feet four inches) but wanted to improve his 40-yard dash (4.97 seconds according to a scout there) and vertical jump (28 1/2 inches).

Herdman, who played in the Senior Bowl and has garnered NFL interest, had a 32.5-inch vertical in Regina but finished with 15 reps in the bench (after being penalized five reps) and ran the 40 in 5.164 seconds.

“For the most part, I felt I had my explosion in the vertical,” Herdman said. “I’m not the best in testing but if you watch the film you can see how I move on the field.

“It’s just a whole different skillset that I think the testing won’t show.”

Carleton’s Nathaniel Behar and McMaster’s Daniel Vandervoort were arguably the most impressive receivers. But an intriguing prospect is Malcolm Carter, a six-foot-six, 192-pound junior player with the Ottawa Sooners who ran a 4.6-second 40 but laid out to make an outstanding catch in the one-on-one drills.

Carleton defensive back Tunde Adeleke posted the fastest 40-yard dash time. The five-foot-10, 190-pound Adeleke crossed the finish line in 4.559 seconds.

The event record — electronically timed — is 4.36 seconds registered by Saskatchewan Roughriders cornerback Tevaughn Campbell in 2015 while Steve Turner of Bishop’s had a hand-time effort of 4.31 seconds in 2010.

On Friday night, Laval offensive lineman Jean-Simon Roy stole the show in the combine’s marquee event, the bench press. The six-foot-three, 287-pound Roy pressed 225 pounds 39 times to finish five ahead of Condordia defensive lineman Samuel Narkaj.

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Study shows special needs hard to meet in B.C. public schools

It’s lunch time at the Dunn-Reker house, and four happy children bounce… Continue reading

Parastone weighs in on Slalom Drive

At a public hearing in Fernie Council on Tuesday night, Jacqueline Arling,… Continue reading

Fernie Museum fundraiser a blast from the past

Retro themed evening raises over $10,000 for museum programming

Fernie Alpine Resort opens for preview weekend

Fernie Alpine Resort will be opening for a preview weekend, this Saturday and Sunday

Local boys raise money for sick children in unconventional way

Four local boys have found a way to use their passion for… Continue reading

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Ghostriders play hard against Nelson Leafs

Fernie Coach proud of team’s effort against top KIJHL contender

Cokato resident receives Order of Canada

Dr. Bryan Kolb has been instrumental in helping society understand what happens inside our heads

Mainroad discusses road conditions, standards

Last week, Mainroad, the Ministry of Transportation, the City of Fernie and… Continue reading

Cougar confronts man in Clearwater

Clearwater resident Barry Joneson had a close encounter of the cougar kind

Panda picks Argonauts for the win

Giant panda at the Toronto Zoo picks Argos to win Grey Cup on Sunday

Black Friday fervour wanes as some consumers, retailers shun practice

Some businesses are choosing to opt out, while some shoppers are turning to buying online

Stay safe on B.C. roads this holiday season

RCMP warn drivers to plan a safe ride home or suffer the consequences this holiday season

Trudeau apologizes to excluded residential school students

PM makes statement to former students in Nfld who were left out of previous compensation, apology

Most Read