UBC offensive lineman Dakoda Shepley is the top Canada West football prospect heading into Thursday’s Canadian Football League Draft, according to conference coaches.
Shepley was unveiled Monday as the top-ranked player on the annual Canada West CFL Prospect Rankings, which saw the top five names released in collaboration with 3 Down Nation. The rankings are voted on by coaches from the conference’s six football programs, and provide a glimpse into how the coaches view the top draft-eligible players from their competition.
A product of Windsor, Ont., Shepley helped UBC to a Hardy Cup and Vanier Cup in 2015, and was a CW all-star last season. Recently signed as an undrafted free agent by the New York Jets of the National Football League, Shepley received four first-place votes from coaches around the conference.
Securing the other two first-place votes in the rankings was Alberta offensive lineman Mark Korte, who was the Canada West Outstanding Lineman last season after helping the Golden Bears to a dominant rushing season. Korte, along with fellow linemen Justin Lawrence – who finished fifth in the rankings – anchored an Alberta line that allowed running back Ed Ilnicki to rush for a CW record 1,468 yards.
Also appearing in the top five were Calgary Dinos Darius Ciraco at No. 3 and Ryan Sceviour at No. 4. The offensive linemen helped Calgary to the Hardy Cup last season.
For more on the top five CW prospects, please visit 3 Down Nation. The complete 20-player CW CFL Prospect Rankings will be released Tuesday, May 1 on CanadaWest.org at 10 a.m. MT (9 a.m. PT / 11 a.m. CT).
The CFL Draft is set for Thursday, May 3 at 6 p.m. MT (5 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. CT) with two-hours of coverage on TSN, with the later rounds available on TSN.ca and TSN GO.
TOP FIVE CW CFL PROSPECTS
# / POS / NAME / SCHOOL / POINTS (first-place votes)
- / OL / Dakoda Shepley / UBC / 123 (4)
- / OL / Mark Korte / ALBERTA / 122 (2)
- / OL / Darius Ciraco / CALGARY / 114
- / OL / Ryan Sceviour / CALGARY / 107*
- / OL / Justin Lawrence / ALBERTA / 107
- First-place vote worth 25 points, second-place 24 etc.
- Higher ranking based on greater number of higher placed votes
- Coaches rank all draft-eligible players excluding their own