Over the past couple of years the CFL has been forming partnerships with professional football leagues around the world, aiming to showcase football talent from more than just the United States and Canada. As a part of this partnership the CFL has hosted players from international leagues and countries, having them play in the CFL with the American and Canadian talent. They’ve done this through their Global Drafts which in 2019 was for Mexican players from the LFA, but following the 2019, and 2020 calendar years the CFL formed partnerships with other leagues and countries making the 2021 CFL Global Draft much bigger with players from several different leagues and countries. The 2021 CFL Global Draft was done virtually on Thursday, April 15th starting at 1:00 Eastern Daylight Time and was a great success and more specifically a great success for the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks.
Selecting at 9th, 10th, 27th and 28th overall in this year’s Global Draft it looks as if the Redblacks made the most of their opportunity to bring in new talent. With the 9th overall draft pick in this year’s CFL Global Draft the Ottawa Redblacks selected possibly the best player in the Draft with French receiver Anthony Mahoungou. Despite being 27 years of age Mahoungou, a 6-foot-3, 215 pound receiver has the opportunity to make a large impact on a roster that shows need at his position, having lost Greg Ellingson, Diontae Spencer, Dominique Rhymes and Caleb Holley over the last two off-seasons, the experience he has at Purdue University as well as a training camp he spent with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles may lead him into a big position in Ottawa.
In his final season at Purdue in 2017, Mahoungou caught 40 passes for 688 yards and 8 touchdowns which may be the detail that sticks out the most on his player profile but what sticks out the most now is his new opportunity with the Ottawa Redblacks which he has alongside other Global Draft picks Tyron Vrede, Chris Ferguson and Tony Anderson. Considering that the B.C Lions selected an Australian punter in Jack Ford at first overall in the CFL Global Draft and the Ottawa Redblacks got the best player at 9th overall, it is clear that Marcel Desjardins and his front office knew what they were doing in this year’s CFL Global Draft. 3 of the 4 draft picks brought in by Ottawa in the Draft played division one football south of the Canada-USA border, Mahoungou with Purdue, Vrede with North Dakota and Chris Ferguson with Cincinnati. With that being said each of the 3 players that have played in the United States have showcased the ability to play against the best players at the Division one level and all four of the Redblacks Draft picks were brought in to positions that the team needed depth at.
The Ottawa Redblacks lost both Jason Lauzon-Seguin and Evan Johnson on the offensive line this off-season as well as linebacker Kevin Brown, receivers Caleb Holley and Dominque Rhymes and cornerback Jonathan Rose so bringing in one player at each of the four positions in the 2021 CFL Global Draft the Ottawa Redblacks took the right approach to the Draft, improving and replacing at each of the team’s needs, while also bringing in 4 talented players that have the opportunity to make an impact in the future. In the CFL, among the 46 players dressed in each of the 18 regular season games you are to dress two Global Players. In 2019 the Ottawa Redblacks dressed both Guillermo Villalobos and Jose Maltos but coming in 2021 if the CFL has a season there will be competition for both of Mexican players. There are now 6 Global players within the Ottawa Redblacks organization and a minimum of 2 will be playing with the Ottawa Redblacks this coming season and with the Redblacks’ successful Global Draft now behind them the next question is who will dress in 2021 if there is a season?