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 Regional District of Nanaimo faces challenges with garbage bin replacement requests. (Michael Briones photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo faces challenges to meet requests for garbage bin replacements

Waste manager says RDN will have a surplus of 100-litre carts

Members of the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. set up the tube where rainbow trout were released into Spider Lake on Thursday, March 4, 2021. (Michael Briones photo)
Fishing time: 1,800 rainbow trout released into Spider Lake

Society records spike in fishing licences during pandemic

A map showing where the new developments for affordable housing will be located on Moilliet Street in Parksville. (submitted photo)
Parksville city council approves development permit for 87 housing units

Development to include four-storey apartment and eight townhouses

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA reveals COVID-19 outbreak

Tsartlip First Nation chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA apologizes

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Free Reformed Church is seen as people attend service, in Chilliwack, B.C., on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. Lawyers for the British Columbia government and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms are back in B.C. Supreme Court today, squaring off over the legality of COVID-19 rules that prohibit in-person religious services. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. top doctor has power to restrict access to a place during health hazard: lawyer

Under B.C.’s Public Health Act, Jacqueline Hughes says, Henry can restrict or prevent entry to a place

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
B.C. dentists and bus drivers want newly-approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

BC Dental Association says dentists and their teams cannot treat patients remotely

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

President of the BC Teacher’s Federation (BCTF) Teri Mooring is calling for teachers to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by summer. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Why it’s ‘urgent’ B.C. teachers get vaccinated from COVID-19 before summer

President Teri Mooring says not enough is being done to prevent virus transmission in schools

Most Read