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Filling Out the Riders Roster – New Players I Hope Stick Around

Published: Friday, May 31st 2024, 7:05am

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)

 

With roster cuts coming on Saturday (though it may not be announced until Sunday), it’s going to be interesting to see who the Saskatchewan Roughriders are able to keep around on the active roster, practice roster and hide on various injured lists. The first week of the season we usually see some roster juggling and this year will be no exception. Here’s my list of new CFL players I hope the Riders can keep around in some capacity this season:

 

Defense: 

DB Antoine Brooks Jr. – He has a Super Bowl ring and a Grey Cup ring would look great on him too. He had the pick-6 in the Edmonton preseason game and ever since the Riders signed him, I’ve been intrigued. The Defensive Back competition was a big one this training camp and I hope he has a role here on the active roster.

LB Diego Fagot – When the Riders signed him in the offseason, I recognized him from seeing him play college ball… where he was a beast! He had a very nice interception in the Winnipeg preseason game, but there isn’t too much room on the roster for backup American Linebackers behind starter Jameer Thurman. Maybe he hits the practice roster? Maybe he bumps T.J. Brunson off the active roster? I’m not sure, but I think there is something there with Fagot and think he can be a key contributor to the Riders defense in the future.

LB Melique Straker – Our 4th round pick in this year’s draft has shown QUITE well on special teams in the preseason. The Riders have an abundance of Canadian linebackers, but there is definitely a chance for Straker to make the active roster. At WORST, he should be on the practice roster, but the team needs to keep this young man around for sure!

 

Offense:

RB/FB Clint Ratkovich – With a new Offensive Coordinator and new power running back in A.J. Ouellette, the Riders will need some depth in the running game and I’m not so sure that Frankie Hickson is the guy to be that season long backup/change of pace. I think Hickson starts the season as Ouellette’s backup, but later in the year, I can see it being Ratkovich. If he’s willing to take a PR spot, that’s where I think he begins the year.

QB Jack Coan – I was a bit disappointed in how little he was used in the preseason, but it’s his first camp in the CFL, so reps are hard to come by on a team that has a major battle for the #2 spot. He definitely needs some work, but until the Riders bring in another young QB, I’d like one on the practice roster to learn and develop.

WR Dohnte Meyers – All he did was produce in the preseason and looked like the best of all the newcomers. The fact he can return kicks (well, too) should have him as a lock to make the active roster.

WR Ajou Ajou – Likely no room for him on the active roster, but for sure a practice squad spot should be there for him. He does need to clean some things up technically, but he can get that proper coaching on the PR when there is less guys vying for spots.

 

Honourable Mentions:

WR Geronimo Allison, WR KeeSean Johnson, WR Joe Robustelli: I doubt the team will be able to keep ALL their receivers around, but I’d love to see these three stick around. I don’t think Allison will take a PR spot and as much as I do like him, I don’t think he did enough to warrant a starting spot on the roster. Johnson may have looked the best in camp (from what I’ve read from members of the media), so hopefully a spot somewhere is there for him. And the story of Robustelli is just great. From being a delivery driver to signing with the Riders, we love these kind of guys in the football world. Hopefully he gets a chance on the PR and he can turn into something up here in the CFL.

 

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