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

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

Phase 4 of the Kicking Horse Canyon Project is on track, despite COVID-19 and the recent provincial election. (Government of BC photo)
Kicking Horse Canyon Phase 4 closures announced

The first major closures are expected to occur starting on April 12 until May 14

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
115 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths in Interior Health

There are now a total of 4,970 cases in the region

One of the renovated VWs that has served as the inspiration for Wood's idea for a VW village to redefine camping. (Jeremiah Woods photo)
Golden entrpreneau walks away with a deal from Dragon’s Den

Camping in the Woods combines a love of the outdoors and for classic VW vehicles

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Shoreacres resident flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 in Washington. The President is traveling to Texas. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Black Press Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

In case you missed it, here’s what made waves throughout the week

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

A COVID-19 outbreak at Vernon's Heritage Square long-term care home has claimed seven people. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Two more COVID-19 deaths at Vernon care home

Heritage Square has now lost seven people due to the outbreak

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

(Big White Ski Resort photo)
13 more cases of COVID-19 tied to Big White Mountain cluster

This brings the total case count to 175, of which 32 cases are active

RCMP on scene at a home on Sylvania Cres. (Phil McLachlan /Capital News/FILE)
Two Kelowna men arrested after Rutland home invasion

Two Kelowna men, including a prolific offender, facing slew of potential charges

Most Read