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Riders GM Jeremy O’Day Nails 2020 CFL Draft

Published: Friday, May 1st 2020, 1:05pm

Jeremy O’Day Hits Home Runs in 2020 CFL Draft


by Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)


The Riders Canadian depth has been an issue for the last 5 or so seasons, but over the last little bit, the team has hit some big time picks in the draft, both in the Chris Jones era and the Jeremy O’Day era. This year, the Riders had the 7th overall pick in the first round and to little surprise they didn’t go far to make it.


Offensive Lineman Mattland Riley out of the University of Saskatchewan (a Melfort boy!) was the pick and it was bang on with what the team needs now and in the years to come. With Brendan LaBatte getting up there in age (football wise, anyways), the team needs to look at his eventual replacement. Riley is that guy. He’ll come in and immediately challenge for the 6th or 7th Olineman spot on the active roster and by 2022, if all goes to plan, should be the starting left guard for the Riders.

The pick addressed a need now for depth and a need in a couple of years with a potential starter. GREAT pick from O’Day and the Riders.


The Riders didn’t have another pick until the 4th round (their 2nd was traded to Montreal in the Patrick Lavoie/Philip Blake trade and their 3rd was used last year in the Supplemental Draft to select OL Jake Bennett) and they went with receiver Kian Schaffer-Baker from Guelph. It looks like the team is serious about starting Justin McInnis and possibly Brayden Lenius as well and this pick gives them the depth to potentially start both of those guys if that’s the way the ratio shakes out.


They had another pick in the 4th and selected Schaffer-Baker’s teammate from Guelph, linebacker Junior Allen. He’ll provide depth for Cam Judge and Micah Teitz and will likely play special teams to start. A very solid pick there,


Now is when the Draft becomes a complete guessing game. In the 5th they took DB Vincent Dethier (McGill), RB Jonathan Femi-Cole (Western) in the 6th and OL Jesse Lawson (Carleton) in the 7th round.


Then in the 8th round, things got fun. The Riders took arguably the best prospect in the ENTIRE draft with Defensive Lineman Neville Gallimore out of Oklahoma. Gallimore was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 3rd round last weekend in the NFL draft, so we know that Gallimore won’t be here (if at all) for quite a few years. That said, it’s a GREAT pick, because why the hell not? 8th round picks RARELY turn into anything, let alone make the active roster. Why not take the gamble on something that could end up happening in a few years? It’s a very small price to pay to have the rights to Gallimore if he doesn’t stick around in the NFL long term.


Overall, this draft was another solid one for Jeremy O’Day. While we may not see any football for another year, it will be nice to see how these young players grow and come into Saskatchewan and compete.


You get an A this year, Mr. O’Day.


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