Wilfrid Laurier receiver Shamawd Chambers gave the Roughriders pause for thought ahead of the CFL Draft next month. Chambers was a standout performer at the CFL Evaluation Camp and the prospect could force his way into the conversation for #1 overall pick.
More than an athlete The biggest trait scouts were salivating over after watching Chambers was his exceptional athleticism. The former Golden Hawks stand out posted the fastest 40-yard dash time, clocking an impressive 4.42 seconds. The 6’3”, 219 pound prospect was amongst the leaders in the other speed and agility drills. The receiver is quick to stress that he is more than just an athlete. “I don’t want people to sit here and think the main reason why I’m where I’m at today is just because of what happened at the evaluation camp,” said Chambers. “I think people should start saying that I’m a great receiver, not just a great athlete. That bothers me sometimes.”
The elephant on the board As it stands, Chambers is ranked #3 on draft boards heading into next month’s event. There could be massive changes at the top however depending on how this week’s NFL Draft goes. Tyrone Crawford, a defensive end out of Boise State, is the #1 prospect in the CFL Draft. Crawford however is labelled as a likely mid-round pick in this week’s NFL draft. If he gets selected then it’s unlikely any CFL team would risk a high-round pick on him.
That places Chambers in a promising position. Skill players of his level are extremely rare commodities in the CFL Draft, making his real value arguably even higher than his current draft ranking suggests.
Will ‘need’ triumph? A cynic would say the Roughriders have needs everywhere after last season’s horrible showing but their biggest area of concern is in getting after the quarterback. With the first pick in the draft, that would make Crawford a no-brainer if he goes undrafted by NFL teams. If, and I project he will, Crawford goes to NFL then there really isn’t another pass-rushing option worthy of spending the #1 overall on. Local prospect Ben Heenan would be a popular alternative but there is a strong possibility that he will be offered free agent invites to several NFL team camps. Chambers is in a similar boat but looks more likely to commit to life as a CFL player in the short-term. With so many variables, there will be much to mull over in Regina ahead of May 5.
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