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Alex’s Top 5 Picks for Riders Rookie Standouts

Published: Wednesday, May 10th 2023, 1:05pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)  


Rookie Camps open up across the CFL today and while we don’t know who yet, there are some new CFL stars ready to take the league by storm. The Saskatchewan Roughriders will have quite a bit of turnaround this year compared to the roster last year and these are my super random picks for Rider rookies that will make an impact on the team this year.


1 – LT Jerald Hawkins

He’s no rookie to the pros, but he is to the CFL. The Riders NEED someone to step up at Left Tackle and while I still fully expect Philip Blake to start the season at LT, I think Hawkins is the guy to lock the spot down to protect Trevor Harris’ blindside as the season progresses and/or injuries occur.


2 – WR Keith Corbin III

Much like the O-Line, the team needs a young receiver to step up and become a star. Everyone is big on Jester Weah, last year’s training camp standout, but I just don’t see it with him. Weah’s 2 catches for 9 yards in his only game doesn’t scream anything special to me. No clue why I’m picking Corbin III, but he’s my guy I’m going with.


3 – DB Jaxon Ford

I really think the Riders are going to want to eventually start 2 Canadians in the defensive backfield by the end of the season, I mean why else would you have 6 Canadian DBs on the roster? If Jaxon Ford can come in and push the potential starters in Jayden Dalke and Nelson Lokombo, then the Riders would have the depth to be able to start 2 of those 3. That could also change up the ratio and not NEED the team to go 4 Canadian O-Linemen.


4 – LB Jerry Garner Jr.

He’s listed as a Linebacker, but gets after the QB like a defensive end. The Riders front 4 is pretty set with Pete Robertson, Micah Johnson, Anthony Lanier II and Stefen Banks, but they’ll need others to step up in a rotational role. Enter Garner Jr.


5 – DB Devin Jones

Jones spent the last few weeks of the 2022 season on the Riders practice roster, so this will be his first training camp with the team, making him eligible to be a rookie. I think this is Nick Marshall’s last year with the team, so they’ll need a young guy in the defensive backfield to step up and push for playing time. My super random guess is Devin Jones.


(I know that as I write this, literally all of these guys will be cut and never see a CFL field again… *shrugs*)


We’ll be talking about Rookie Camp and main Training Camp and what the main battles in camp will be on the next Piffles Podcast out tomorrow!


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