Hamilton Tiger-Cats take tight end Jake Burt first overall in CFL draft; Bombers take OL Liam Dobson
WINNIPEG -- The Hamilton Tiger-Cats selected tight end Jake Burt with the first pick of the 2021 CFL draft Tuesday night.
The former Boston College player was a late addition to the draft. The six-foot-five, 245-pound Burt was born in Regina and remained there for about four years before relocating to Boston with his family.
The Ticats also announced they've signed Burt to a three-year deal.
Burt appeared in 36 career games at Boston College, registering 23 catches for 307 yards and two touchdowns. After being bypassed in the 2020 NFL draft, Burt signed as a free agent with the New England Patriots, spending the entire season on the practice roster before becoming a free agent this off-season.
Burt's situation is very similar to that of linebacker Alex Singleton. A native Californian who played collegiately at Montana State, Singleton spent time in 2015 with Seattle, New England and Minnesota before being deemed eligible for the `16 CFL draft because his mother was Canadian.
Singleton was taken sixth overall Calgary and quickly blossomed into a CFL star. He was twice a league all-star and in `17 was named the league's top defensive player before helping the Stampeders win the 2018 Grey Cup.
Singleton joined the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles in 2019 and re-signed with the club in March.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders took Nelson Lokombo, a defensive back with the Saskatchewan Huskies at No. 2. The five-foot-11, 184-pound native of Abbotsford, B.C., was Canadian university football's top defensive player in 2019 and his older brother, Boseko, is a member of the B.C. Lions.
The Grey Cup-champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers looked to the future at No. 3, taking Texas State offensive lineman Liam Dobson. The six-foot-three, 340-pound Ottawa native recently transferred from Maine and will be playing at his new school this fall.
The B.C. Lions did the same at No. 4, taking Daniel Joseph of Brampton, Ont., a six-foot-three, 250-pound defensive lineman at North Carolina State. A former player at Penn State, Joseph will also be returning to school in the fall.
The Edmonton Football Team looked to the present at No. 5, taking Alberta defensive lineman Cole Nelson. The six-foot-six defensive lineman had 11 tackles in six games in 2019.
With the sixth overall selection, the Ottawa Redblacks selected Maine linebacker Deshawn Stevens. The six-foot-two, 255-pound Toronto native is currently in the NCAA transfer portal but has said if he doesn't get an offer from another school he'd look at playing in the CFL this year rather than return to Maine.
The Toronto Argonauts took Calgary Dinos offensive lineman Peter Nicastro at No. 7. The six-foot-one, 306-pound Calgary native helped the Dinos win a Vanier Cup in 2019 and can compete in camp immediately.
The Calgary Stampeders went back to the future by selecting Calgary native Amen Ogbongbemiga, a standout linebacker at Oklahoma State University. An outstanding collegian, the six-foot-one, 235-pound Ogbongbemiga signed as an undrafted free agent deal with the NFL's L.A Chargers.
Hamilton concluded the opening round at No. 9 by taking Nick Cross, a linebacker at the University of British Columbia. The five-foot-11, 203-pound Regina native was a 2019 first-team All-Canadian but is expected to play safety in the CFL.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 4, 2021.