Bombers GM Wasn't Willing to Gamble on Waiting to Take Gray in Second Round

By Ralph, Dan | The Canadian Press, May 9, 2017 | Go to article overview

Bombers GM Wasn't Willing to Gamble on Waiting to Take Gray in Second Round


Ralph, Dan, The Canadian Press


Walters content to take Gray at No. 8

--

Kyle Walters took a flyer on Geoff Gray in the CFL draft Sunday night with economics and patience in mind.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers GM selected Gray in the first round, eighth overall, despite the Manitoba Bisons offensive lineman having signed with the NFL's Green Bay Packers. The move was somewhat surprising as three other top CFL prospects who garnered NFL interest were taken long after the six-foot-six, 315-pound Gray was.

Mississippi State offensive lineman Justin Senior of Montreal was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks before UCLA defensive lineman Eli Ankou of Ottawa, Gray and Laval tight end Antony Auclair of Notre-Dame-des-Pins, Que., signed as free agents with Houston, Green Bay and Tampa Bay, respectively.

Ankou went in the third round of the CFL draft to Ottawa, Auclair was selected in the fourth round by Saskatchewan while Edmonton took Senior in the fifth.

Walters came into the draft with two first-round picks (first and sixth overall) as well as No. 15. He dealt the No. 6 selection to Calgary for the Stampeders' spot at No. 8 as well as their fourth-round pick (No. 34).

Calgary used the sixth pick to take Gannon defensive lineman Randy Colling. Then after B.C. selected Montreal defensive lineman Junior Luke, Walters announced Gray's name.

"We chose to take that risk and multiple factors went into why," Walters said during a CFL conference call Tuesday. "The main ones being if we chose someone else how on earth do they fit into this roster and how does it fit into the salary cap?"

Taking Gray at No. 8 gives Walters two benefits. First, he doesn't have to pay another player first-round money -- the Bombers selected Iowa defensive lineman Faith Ekakitie at No. …

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