The top-ranked prospect in this year’s Canadian Football League draft, St-Hilaire native Laurent Duvernay-Tardif will skip the CFL’s Evaluation camp (basically its combine) in order to perform at a Pro Day at McGill University.
The 23-year-old offensive lineman has earned interest from both CFL and National Football League teams with McGill athletics reporting at least eight teams south of the border showing interest. This means that scouts from both leagues can get an eye on the prospect on equal footing.
“He is still in school and taking classes, so we felt that it would be better for him to host a pro day, which would hopefully minimize his travel somewhat for workout sessions and maximize his time,” said Sasha Ghavami, the CFL certified agent for the six-foot-five, 315-pound offensive lineman. “It’s simply a question of being efficient with his time, being able to combine both workouts in front of NFL and CFL scouts. We want to treat both leagues equally.”
From the McGill press release:
Chad Speck based in Knoxville, Tenn., serves as the NFL certified agent for Duvernay-Tardif who has also garnered interest south of the border this past season with at least eight NFL squads either expressing interest or requesting information from McGill on him. Among those are the New York Jets, Houston, Tennessee, Green Bay, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington and Jacksonville.
A two-time CIS All-Canadian who captured the 2013 J.P. Metras trophy as Canadian university football’s top lineman, Duvernay-Tardif was one of only two CIS players selected to participate in the 89th East-West Shrine game at St. Petersburg, Fla., this past January.
A senior and co-captain with the Redmen, he was a major reason why the team finished first in the RSEQ conference in completion percentage (61.0) and second in both total yards (487.2 per game) and passing yards (326.9). He was also a factor in the ground game as teammate Luis Guimont-Mota took the Quebec rushing crown and placed sixth in the country with 828 yards in eight contests, becoming the first McGill back to lead the RSEQ in rushing since Nick Hoffmann in 2002.
The CFL will hold its annual combines camp March 21-23 in Toronto in preparation for the draft on May 13. The National Football League already held their combines camp on Feb. 22-25 and the NFL draft is slated for May 8-10 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
The last two Canadian Interuniversity Sport players to be drafted by NFL teams were Vaughn Martin (4th round in 2009 by the San Diego Chargers) and Akiem Hicks (3rd round in 2012 by the New Orleans Saints). Other players including Cory Greenwood and Jon Ryan also came from CIS schools.