April 12, 2016

Stock Assessment: Loffler rising fast among LB, DB

CFL teams find a majority of their Canadian special teams players in the linebacker and defensive back position groups. There are also starters to be found at those spots.

Some solid LB prospects and talented cover men highlight the players who competed at the 2016 National CFL Combine.

LB Kevin Jackson, Sam Houston StateJohany Jutras/
Hometown: Vancouver
Stock: Up ⬆

A strong (24 reps on the bench press) and smooth-moving athlete, Jackson put himself in the mix to be in the top tier of linebackers based on his showing at the Toronto Regional and National Combine.


LB Marc-Antoine Laurin, OttawaJohany Jutras/
Hometown: Cantly, Que.
Stock: Up ⬆

Laurin jumped on the radar of CFL personnel men. He’s an explosive and agile linebacker who could help on special teams.


LB Terrell Davis, UBCJohany Jutras/
Hometown: Victoria, B.C.
Stock: Up ⬆

Many scouts expected better testing numbers from Davis, who earned a scholarship to Arizona State as a running back before returning to his home province to play for UBC. Regardless talent evaluators view Davis as an intriguing prospect with upside.


LB Shayne Gauthier, Laval Johany Jutras/
Hometown: Dolbeau-Mistassini, Que.
Stock: Up ⬆

The only linebacker to run in the 4.6-second range at the National CFL Combine was Gauthier. That pushed him up the board. He consistently produced with the Rouge et Or and should be able to do the same in the pros.


LB Curtis Newton, GuelphJohany Jutras/
Hometown: London, Ont.
Stock: Down ⬇

A combine setting is not where Newton thrives. He’s an instinctual player who plays better on the field and not in spandex.


LB Doug Parrish, Western OregonJohany Jutras/
Hometown: Edmonton
Stock: Up ⬆

If Parrish continues to sculpt his body – he displayed an improved physique at the combine – his potential will steadily rise. That helped show teams Parrish really wants to succeed at the next level.


LB Daniel Tshiamala, St. FXJohany Jutras/
Hometown: Ottawa
Stock: Down ⬇

It was shocking to see Tshiamala run so slow – 5.28-second 40-yard time. Speed needs to be improved. Scouts are trying to determine whether he’ll be a DL or LB in the CFL.


LB DJ Lalama, ManitobaJohany Jutras/
Hometown: Winnipeg
Stock: Up ⬆

Personnel men raved about how well Lalama interviewed in Toronto, saying he came off sounding very polished. He added to that buzz by putting up a solid all-around performance in testing and when the pads went on.


LB Alex Ogbongbemiga, Calgary ColtsJohany Jutras/
Hometown: Calgary
Stock: Up ⬆

A raw prospect, the Canadian Junior Football League product displayed interesting potential for a team that can afford to be patient with his development. He could contribute on special teams to start.


DB Maiko Zepeda, MontrealJohany Jutras/
Hometown: LaSalle, Que.
Stock: Down ⬇

Zepeda struggled in coverage with his size not helping him. Although despite concerns about his small frame, he keeps pushing hard to prove critics wrong.


DB Mikael Charland, ConcordiaJohany Jutras/
Hometown: Gatineau, Que.
Stock: Down ⬇

One-on-ones exposed Charland at the combine and showed that his best position might just be linebacker in the CFL. Scouts say he lacks some physicality in his game.


DB Nicholas Termansen, UBCJohany Jutras/
Hometown: North Vancouver, B.C.
Stock: Up ⬆

Termansen put his athleticism and quickness on full display. Those attributes boosted his stock. However, he needs to fill out his lean frame.


DB Taylor Loffler, UBCJohany Jutras/
Hometown: Kelowna, B.C.
Stock: Up ⬆

Loffler put forth the best performance from a cover man in the one-on-ones. He covered ground and made plays on the football. That’s even more impressive when you consider he was the biggest defensive back in height and weight at the National Combine.


DB Anthony Thompson, Southern IllinoisJohany Jutras/
Hometown: Montreal
Stock: Up ⬆

Thompson did not test at the combine, electing to stand on his Southern Illinois Pro Day results. He participated in all the football drills, looking smooth and comfortable in coverage. Thompson’s an elite prospect in the 2016 class.


DB Josh Woodman, WesternJohany Jutras/
Hometown: Chatham, Ont.
Stock: Down ⬇

The 40-yard dash, three-cone and shuttle times ranked Woodman near the bottom of the DB group. And getting run over by big Brian Jones in one-on-ones didn’t help either.


DB Brennan Van Nistelrooy, Okanagan SunJohany Jutras/
Hometown: Lethbridge, Alta.
Stock: Up ⬆

Impressive results at the Edmonton Regional earned Van Nistelrooy an invite to the National Combine. In Toronto he bettered his 40-yard time and broad jump, which shows he can improve and perform under pressure.

DB Malcolm Brown, WesternJohany Jutras/
Hometown: London, Ont.
Stock: Down ⬇

Slow 3-cone and shuttle times provided a concern about Brown not being able to change direction quickly. That’s not a label any defensive back wants to get.