Riders Positional Breakdown – Quarterbacks
Published: Monday, Mar 27th 2023, 2:03pm
by Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)
Leading up to the CFL Draft, I’ll be looking at the roster put together so far by Saskatchewan Roughriders General Manager Jeremy O’Day. I’ll share my thoughts on each player and how I see that particular unit showing in 2023.
Let’s take a look at the Quarterbacks (listed in alphabetical order).
Zerrick Cooper – A guy I know absolutely nothing about. That’s not to say he won’t be anything, I just literally have no idea who he is, other than reading his wikipedia page. But, as with any young QB brought in for their first training camp, he’ll be in tough to get a roster spot, but if he shows enough, this is the type of guy I would use a practice roster spot on. Don’t get your hopes up, he’s a likely training camp arm, but there is room on the Riders roster for a young development QB on the PR.
Jake Dolegala – ALL the Rider media fell in love with Dolegala last year because the guy is HUGE (6 foot 7). When he got his chance against Toronto because Fajardo and Fine weren’t available, he did ok, all things considering. I’d strongly consider having him as the #2 this year instead of Fine because I think he has shown more than Fine did and has more potential. Maybe not to be a full time CFL starter, but insurance in case something happens to Trevor Harris for a 1-2 week period. I hope he gets the #2 job, but is likely fighting for #3.
Mason Fine – As a backup, he’s… fine. I didn’t really love what I saw out of Fine in 2022, but I didn’t hate it, either. I really hope one of these other guys can push him, because I feel like they can do better than Fine for a backup. He’ll likely begin the season as the #2 to Trevor Harris, but if the team needs to rely on Mason Fine for a long period of time, I don’t like their chances to get back into the playoffs.
Trevor Harris – I like Trevor Harris. I really like him as a person, I like him as a QB and I really do think he could be the starter here for 5-6 years. Once it was learned that he wasn’t really happy with the Montreal ownership situation, O’Day NEEDED to go out and sign Harris, so I’m quite happy he did. Harris instantly upgrades a dismal Riders O from 2022 and his quick release will be an asset to a team that still has big time O-Line questions. I’m looking forward to seeing a QB who can actually read a defence past the first read and a guy who won’t literally turn his back to the play within a second of it starting. The team is in much better hands this year with Harris leading the way and will be for the next few years. There is no reason the Riders should miss the playoffs with Harris at the helm of the team.
Levi Lewis – He’s a guy I wished the Riders game some reps to at the very end of 2022. He was only with the team for half the season, but with how the last couple of weeks went in the season, I figured what the hell, you might as well. He is a mobile QB which translates well to the CFL game and I hope he is given a real shot at the #3 QB spot. It’ll likely come down to Lewis and Dolegala for that spot. May the best man win.
Shea Patterson – Patterson does have some limited CFL experience and that’s why he’s going to be at training camp. Will he push for an active roster spot? Maybe… but if he can’t pass Fine/Dolegala, he’ll just be a phone call away if the Riders get desperate. I personally wouldn’t use a roster spot during the season for him. He’s just a training camp arm.
Obviously, there is a concern with this group if Trevor Harris gets hurt and misses an extended period of time. But honestly, outside of BC and Hamilton, name me one other CFL team that isn’t in this same boat. Hopefully, they can find the QB of the future out of this group, but at the same time, I really do think Harris isn’t a bridge QB, he’ll be here for a while. Basically trading Fajardo for Harris is a win for this team and they are already starting 2023 better at QB than they were at any point in 2022. Will Harris lead the team to a Grey Cup? I doubt it, but it does buy the team quite a bit of time to find the next guy. Anytime you can upgrade at the most important position on the field, you get a good grade from me. They are in much better hands now with Harris than they were with Fajardo last year and I expect good things. There is no reason the Riders should miss the playoffs in 2023.
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