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The BC Lions enjoyed a busy and productive evening at the 2015 CFL Draft table picking up eight future Leos including first-round selection Ese Mrabure-Ajufo out of Wilfrid Laurier University with the fifth overall selection.
Other pick-ups for the Lions included offensive lineman Brett Boyko (UNLV, 14th overall), running back Shaquille Murray-Lawrence (UNLV, 23rd overall), linebacker Adrian Clarke (32nd overall), offensive lineman Campbell Allison (Eastern Michigan, 41st overall), defensive lineman Christian Covington (Rice, 43rd overall), defensive back Josh Brinkworth (Pacific, 49th overall) and defensive lineman Maxx Forde (Idaho, 58th overall)
“We’re very pleased with tonight’s results and I believe our team has improved in both the short and long term with the addition of Ese,” said Lions VP of football operations and GM Wally Buono. “He’s got all the tools you want in a defensive lineman, good hands, good feet and a nose for the quarterback.”
The four-year standout amassed 39 solo tackles for the Golden Hawks over 27 career games as well as 5.5 sacks on his way to a Second-Team OUA selection in 2014.
The Leos then selected hulking offensive lineman Brett Boyko who is currently under contract with the Philadelphia Eagles after a very impressive senior season at UNLV last year. What happens in Vegas usually stays in Vegas and so did the Lions with their third selection, running back Shaquille Murray-Lawrence also out of the Runnin’ Rebels program and who came highly-recommended by Lions player personnel consultant and Nevada resident Roy Shivers.
Buono and company went back to defence with four of their next five picks including local product ChristianCovington out of Rice University who recently signed with the Houston Texans.
“Players of Christian’s caliber are rare and I believe he’s worth the risk given that we had an extra pick in the fifth round,” said Buono.
Prior to Covington, the club added to their linebacker depth with Adrian Clarke from Bishop’s in the fourth round before picking up offensive lineman Campbell Allison from Eastern Michigan in the fifth. The Lions acquired defensive back Josh Brinkworth from Pacific in the sixth go-around before wrapping up their night with Maxx Forde out of the University of Idaho with their eighth and final selection. Forde also has a BC connection as his father Brian was a member of the Lions in 1994 and 1995.
“It was a very good night for the club and I’m grateful for the work Neil McEvoy and Geroy Simon put in over the past number of months as well as Jeff and his staff,” beamed Buono. “This was a deep and talented class of Canadian football players which will likely produce a large number of starters around the league.”
First-year Lions will hit the field in Kamloops, BC beginning Thursday, May 28 before the full squad begins Training Camp on Sunday, May 31 presented by Sun Peaks Resort.
For a FULL recap of the 2015 CFL Draft click HERE
WATCH: Director of Player Personnel Neil McEvoy gives us a run down of each draft selection