Linebacker Jordan Williams is shown in a handout photo from a CFL combine. He was selected first overall by the B.C. Lions in the CFL’s entry draft on Thursday, April 30, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Chris Tanouye/CFL MANDATORY CREDIT)

Linebacker Jordan Williams is shown in a handout photo from a CFL combine. He was selected first overall by the B.C. Lions in the CFL’s entry draft on Thursday, April 30, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Chris Tanouye/CFL MANDATORY CREDIT)

B.C. Lions trade up to take LB Williams with 1st pick in CFL draft

B.C. (5-13) finished last in the West Division last season

TORONTO — Linebacker Jordan Williams was the first player taken in the 2020 CFL draft Thursday night.

The B.C. Lions opened the draft with a bang, moving up from third overall to secure the No. 1 pick from the Calgary Stampeders, then taking Williams.

The five-foot-11, 219-pound Williams hasn’t played football since 2017 when he finished second in tackles at East Carolina with 89 — including three for a loss — with a forced fumble.

The 27-year-old is an American by birth but is deemed a national for the draft because his mother is Canadian.

Last year, the Ottawa Redblacks offered Williams a practice-roster spot after he attended one of the club’s free-agent camps. But upon learning of his mother’s nationality, the club recommended Williams investigate taking that path into the league.

Had Williams accepted Ottawa’s invitation, he would’ve been registered with the CFL as an American and his status couldn’t have been reversed afterward.

Williams shined at last month’s Ontario combine, the CFL’s final due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, posting a 40-yard dash time of 4.48 seconds, 20 reps in the 225-pound bench press, 39-inch vertical jump and broad jump of 10 feet, 8.5 inches.

He finished ranked No. 8 on the CFL Scouting Bureau’s final top-20 list after not being on the previous one.

B.C. (5-13) finished last in the West Division last season and made a coaching change. DeVone Claybrooks was fired and replaced by Rick Campbell after he stepped down from that post with the Ottawa Redblacks.

There was a break from tradition as CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie didn’t announce any of the selections. However, he did deliver a pre-draft address.

The Toronto Argonauts took Virginia receiver Dejon Brissett, the older brother of Toronto Raptors guard/forward Oshae Brissett at No. 2. The six-foot-one, 195-pound Brissett, a native of Mississauga, Ont., appeared in 12 games last season with Virginia after transferring from Richmond, recording two receptions for 18 yards.

Brissett appeared in 33 games at Richmond, recording 86 catches for 1,282 yards and nine TDs. He also returned 41 kicks for 941 yards and one touchdown while amassing 2,388 yards of total offence. He was fifth on the CFL Scouting Bureau’s top-20 list.

At No. 3, Calgary took Southeastern Louisiana defensive end Issac Adeyemi-Berglund, a native of Dartmouth, N.S. The six-foot-two, 243-pound Adeyemi-Berglund can also play special teams, which he did in college.

He was No. 12 on the CFL Scouting Bureau’s top-20 list.

The Edmonton Eskimos selected Buffalo offensive lineman Tomas Jack-Kurdyla, of Montreal, at No. 4.

The six-foot-four, 300-pound Jack-Kurdyla is regarded as being pro ready as he was a four-year starter for a Bulls team that ran for a school-record 3,256 yards (296 yards per game) and averaged five yards per carry while allowing a program-low eight sacks.

With the fifth pick, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats used the first of their two opening-round selections on Guelph offensive lineman Coulter Woodmansey. The six-foot-five, 295-pound Toronto native is regarded as a tough player who plays with some nastiness, solid attributes for a franchise that recorded a team-recod 15 regular-season wins last year.

The Ottawa Redblacks (league-worst 3-15 record) followed by taking versatile Adam Auclair of Laval.

The six-foot-two, 213-pound Auclair, whose brother, Antony, is a tight end with the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, can play at linebacker and in the secondary as well as contributing on special teams.

With the seventh selection, the Saskatchewan Roughriders didn’t look far, taking Mattland Riley, an offensive lineman at the University of Saskatchewan. The six-foot-three, 285-pound Riley is a native of Melfort, Sask., and was a 2018 second-team All-Canadian.

READ MORE: Trudeau: Discussions ongoing with CFL as league seeks government assistance

With its second first-round pick, Hamilton took North Dakota defensive end Mason Bennett. The six-foot-four, 258-pound Winnipeg native appeared in 43 career collegiate games, recording 128 tackles — 31.5 for a loss — with 20 sacks and two fumble recoveries.

And Toronto, which posted a second straight 4-14 campaign last year, completed the opening round at No. 9 by selecting Regina offensive lineman Theren Churchill. The six-foot-six, 295-pound native of Stettler, Alta., made 25 career starts at right tackle for the Rams.

Neither the Montreal Alouettes nor the Grey Cup-champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers had first-round picks.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

BC LionsCFLFootball

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo’s Mt. Benson with flares during icy rope rescue

Search and rescue team gets injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance

Sofia Low, left, Delilah Maisonneuve, Madi Hickey, Alayna Black, and Maya Wilch, Departure Bay Eco-School students, will turn down the temperature and wear sweaters on Feb. 4, National Sweater Day. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo students will don sweaters next week as part of energy-saving challenge

Departure Bay Eco-School’s green energy team challenges other classes on National Sweater Day

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo’s NRGH

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive

A long-term care worker receives the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo earlier this month. (Island Health photo)
All seniors in long-term care on the Island will be vaccinated by the end of this weekend

Immunization of high-risk population will continue over the next two months

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
UPDATE: Snowfall warning issued for Nanaimo area, up to 5 cm forecast

Snow to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

Sofia Low, left, Delilah Maisonneuve, Madi Hickey, Alayna Black, and Maya Wilch, Departure Bay Eco-School students, will turn down the temperature and wear sweaters on Feb. 4, National Sweater Day. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo students will don sweaters next week as part of energy-saving challenge

Departure Bay Eco-School’s green energy team challenges other classes on National Sweater Day

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

VIU’s health and science centre. (Vancouver Island University photo)
VIU to train 72 health-care assistants to work with seniors

B.C. Ministry of Health announces details of health career access program

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Actions of Vancouver Island RCMP emergency response team members prevented a potential head-on collision accident on the Trans-Canada Highway on Jan. 19, says Nanaimo RCMP. (News Bulletin file)
Eight cars evade vehicle driving on wrong side of highway, says Nanaimo RCMP

Incident occurred near Trans-Canada Highway-Morden Road intersection earlier this week

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Most Read