Best Riders Draft Picks by Round Since 2000
Published: Monday, May 1st 2023, 12:05pm
By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)
The CFL Canadian Draft goes tomorrow night and I’m always intrigued on what the Riders do, and where some of the great Saskatchewan talent ends up. While teams are obviously looking for gems, the CFL Draft has also been known as a complete crap shoot over recent history. Of course you will see guys not pan out at all (like several of the #1 overall picks like Tyson St. James, Shomari Williams and Josiah St. John), but we will also see some future All-Stars drafted as well.
I’ve gone back over the Saskatchewan Roughriders drafts since the turn of the millennium and these are the best draft picks by round for the Riders since 2000.
Round 8 – Joshua Stanford (2016)
There really isn’t much to go on for the last round of the draft since it’s only been a few years since the league went from 6 rounds to 8, but Stanford is the only one to actually play games for the Riders, topping out at 243 yards in his 3 years with the team.
Honourable Mentions: Riley Boersma (2022)
Round 7 – Alexandre Chevrier (2017)
Chevrier was actually a really good special teams cover guy in his 2 seasons with the Riders, grabbing 28 tackles in 2 seasons. If you can find value like this at the end of drafts, you are doing pretty well.
Honourable Mentions: Emmanuel Adusei (2017)
Round 6 – Jayden Dalke (2022)
The Riders really have had no success in the 6th round of the draft over the last couple of decades… until now. Dalke played quite a bit last season as a rookie and is the pre-preseason favourite to win the starting safety job this year with Mike Edem unsigned. This could end up being one of the better picks in any round for the Riders in recent history if Dalke becomes a multi year starter.
Honourable Mentions: Jocelyn Frenette (2001)
Round 5 – Spencer Moore (2013)
Round 5 has been really kind to the Riders over the last 23 years, especially recently. They’ve found some very solid depth pieces that have played important roles for the team. None better than Spencer Moore. He was great on special teams, was a very good blocker and could go out there and make some plays as a Tight End. And to top it off, Spencer Moore is one of the NICEST people you will ever meet.
**It was hard not to pick Patrick Neufeld here because he has carved out a great CFL career, but most of it has been with Winnipeg and I’m trying to keep it to their Rider careers**
Honourable Mentions: Patrick Neufeld (2010), Levi Steinhauer (2013), Mitch Picton (2017), Charbel Dabire (2019), Logan Bandy (2021)
Round 4 – Kian Schaffer-Baker (2020)
Well, this one was easy. If you’ve read my pieces or have listened to the podcast, you will hear me say repeatedly how much of a stud KSB is. What an absolute steal in the 4th round and signing him to a new contract keeping him in green and white through 2025 is huge.
Honourable Mentions: Darnell Edwards (2002), Luc Mullinder (2004), Chris Milo (2011)
Round 3 – Mike McCullough (2003)
Another easy one. One of last year’s Plaza of Honour inductees is just one of a handful of Rider players with multiple Grey Cups here in Saskatchewan. Whether it was in a starting role, rotational role or special teams role, McCullough was always solid and reliable. For a while he truly was the heart and soul of the Riders defense and it’s no surprise as to why he was a big time fan favourite here.
Honourable Mentions: Elie Bouka (2016)
Round 2 – Craig Butler (2011)
While he didn’t play a LONG time here in Saskatchewan (just 3 seasons), he was constantly one of the best Safeties in the league during that time and he was a big part of the 2013 Grey Cup Championship team. Oh, and that hit on Buck Pierce in the Banjo Bowl? *Chef’s kiss*
Honourable Mentions: Jason French (2001), Luca Congi (2006), Sam Hurl (2012), Dariusz Bladek (2017), Micah Teitz (2018), Brayden Lenius (2019)
Round 1 – Andy Fantuz (2006)
I fought big time with this one… is it Scott Schultz or is it Andy Fantuz? You can easily make the case for both and it really was a coin flip for me… but I had to go with Fantuz. While he only hit 1,000 yards with the Riders once, he was the Most Outstanding Canadian in the Grey Cup in 2007 and won the Most Outstanding Canadian Award for the 2010 season. And he had a cereal named after him… that was the tiebreaker for me.
Honourable Mentions: Scott Schultz (2001), Chris Best (2005), Keith Shologan (2008), Ben Heenan (2012), Nic Demski (2015), Cam Judge (2017), Dakoda Shepley (2018)
Here is what the Riders have for picks (barring any trades):
- Round 1 (3rd overall)
- Round 2 (11th overall)
- Round 3 (21st overall)
- Round 4 (30th overall)
- Round 5 – NO PICK (traded to Montreal for Mario Alford – originally a 6th, but now a 5th because he played in 9 games)
- Round 6 (48th overall)
- Round 7 (57th overall)
- Round 7 (60th overall – acquired from Calgary, along with 3rd round Global pick P James Smith)
- Round 8 (66th overall)
The CFL Draft goes tomorrow night and we’ll be breaking it all down after on The Piffles Podcast!
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