The 2013 edition of the CFL draft kicks off Monday at 12 p.m. Eastern, and yes, Homer, it will be televised. The first two rounds will air live on TSN, with the remaining five streaming live at TSN.ca. We'll be providing live coverage of the first two rounds here, with thoughts and analysis on who each team takes and how their new players might fit in. The draft's a crucial part of the CFL calendar, as it's the primary means for teams to acquire Canadian talent that can help them out for years and years. It's always an important event, and this year's should be no different.
There are several notable storylines heading into the 2013 draft. This is going to be a unique draft thanks to the partial participation of the Ottawa expansion franchise. That team isn't set to begin play until 2014, but they have picks at the end of the first, second, third and fourth rounds (ninth, 18th, 27th and 36th overall). They're restricted to taking NCAA underclassmen who won't be available for at least a year, which could prove a bit of a handicap, but there are enough good players in that category that this draft should still give them a nucleus of Canadian talent to build around (which they'll be able to do with full participation in the 2014 draft, plus the expansion draft at the end of this coming season). The 2013 draft's also unique thanks to the addition of a seventh round, which only says good things about the state of Canadian talent.
As per who's going where, there should be plenty of intrigue on that front. The mock draft I published yesterday shows the complexities involved here: teams have to juggle their preferred draft philosophies, their existing Canadian talent, their preferred non-import positions and the NFL interest in some of these players, which doesn't make the CFL draft an easy event for them. It also makes it tough to predict. Calgary Dinos defensive lineman Linden Gaydosh seems like a solid bet to be selected first overall, but that could be by Hamilton, or they could trade the pick to someone else. After that, it gets very complicated. Do teams gamble and go for the top talents out there despite the NFL's interest in them, or do they take players who are immediately available? Do they pick the best player available, or the one who's the best fit for their roster? However it plays out, it should be interesting to watch. Join us below at noon Eastern for a live chat covering Rounds 1 and 2, and stay tuned to 55-Yard Line and the Yahoo! CFL page all day for further draft coverage.