Quick Slants – Greg’s Top 5 Riders to Watch in 2023
Published: Thursday, May 4th 2023, 2:05am
By Greg McCulloch (@gregonsports)
Last week, Alex gave us his top 5 Riders to watch in 2023 and this week, I upstage him.
No. 5 – WR Mario Alford
Arguably Jeremy O’Day’s best transaction as GM to date was getting Mario out of Montreal. The reigning Most Outstanding Special team player was the lone bright spot for the Riders for several games and could swing momentum immediately with a timely return. There are two main questions for 2023: Will teams find ways to limit Alford’s big play abilities or will new OC Kelly Jefferies find creative ways to work Super Mario into the offense?
No. 4 – RT Insert name here
I thought about putting likely LT Philip Blake here, but the consensus is he will be perfectly fine. The right side of the line in 2023 was somewhere between gong show and dumpster fire. The Riders just couldn’t find anyone to stay there for an extended period of time and it showed. This year they have brought in many players to experiment on the right side. I am sure Trevor Harris hopes one sticks.
No. 3 – WR Derel Walker
Walker is coming off 2 of his least productive seasons touchdown wise. At 32, Walker is getting “football old”, many players can’t stay highly productive in their 30s like Geroy Simon. Could a reunion with Trevor Harris be what he needs to get back into the conversation as one of the most threatening receivers in the CFL?
No. 2 – DB Rolan Milligan
Milligan enters his 3rd season as a Rider this year but considering he only played 1 regular season and 2 playoff games in 2021 last year was basically his rookie season and he did not look out of place. Milligan was an anchor on that defense with 71 defensive tackles making him one of the best DBs in the league.
No. 1 – QB Trevor Harris
If there is a Rider fan who says they aren’t wondering how Trevor Harris will fare as the starting QB they are lying. Harris has the resume as a legit starter in this league and he was definitely a factor in Montreal’s assent to 2nd place in the East but will that translate in Saskatchewan. There has been many things said and written about the offensive line and offensive talent in Saskatchewan. So the line has been rebuilt, Jeremy O’Day got more weapons, and there is a new OC calling plays. But in the CFL the offense is only as good as the guy throwing the ball, so for a guy who said it was his dream to be the Riders starting QB, will it be a nightmare?
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