The easy takeaway from Saturday's events at the national CFL combine results is that Montreal linebacker Byron Archambault and Wilfrid Laurier defensive back Chris Ackie did the most to improve their stock. Both shone in Saturday's testing, with Archambault leading the combine with 41 bench press reps (the second-highest total ever at a CFL combine) and Ackie topping the vertical jump and broad jump leaderboards (with jumps of 40 inches and 10 feet, 11 inches respectively). However, there were plenty of other players who impressed as well. Here are five of them:
Tevaughn Campbell, defensive back, Regina Rams (CIS): Campbell finished second to Ackie in both the vertical and broad jumps, posting marks of 38.5 inches and 10 feet, 9.75 inches respectively. The strong vertical jump may be especially critical for his hopes of getting drafted, as he's only 5'10''; his jump means he can get higher than a 6'0'' player like Mount Allison's Kwame Adjei who only jumped 30 inches. Sunday's 40 will show what kind of speed Campbell has, but his jump numbers speak well of his explosiveness, and there may be more room for small, quick defensive backs in the CFL if the recommended rule changes on downfield contact are approved.
Lemar Durant, wide receiver, Simon Fraser Clan (NCAA Division II): Durant is one of the biggest receivers attending this combine (he's listed as 6'2'', 233 pounds), but he's also quite agile. He posted a 36-inch vertical jump, best amongst receivers and fourth-best overall. His strength was on display as well, as the 26 bench press reps he recorded were best amongst receivers and tied for sixth-best overall. Durant, who declared for the CFL and NFL draft following the end of his junior season this fall, has been picking up plenty of buzz lately, and his combine performance should only add to that.
Matt Rea, running back, Michigan State Spartans (NCAA Division I FBS): Rea was one of the 11 players who worked his way into the national combine through regional events, and he continued to impress on a national stage Saturday. He managed 31 bench press reps, better than the 29 he put up in the regional combine in Toronto earlier this week. That total of 31 was the best at his position and the third-highest overall, and his 33-inch vertical jump was solidly middle-of-the-pack amongst RBs. Rea played mostly fullback for the Spartans, and the strength he's showed off here might make him well-suited for that role in the CFL as well.
Jake Harty, wide receiver, Calgary Dinos (CIS): Harty is another big receiver (he's listed at 6'2'', 207 pounds) who did well Saturday. He came into this event ranked 19th amongst the CFL's best prospects, and that number may rise after the combine. Harty showed off his explosiveness, posting a 10-foot, 7.25 inch broad jump (best amongst receivers, third-best overall). He also recorded a solid vertical jump of 35 inches (second-best amongst receivers to Durant). His 12 bench press reps were less than ideal, but this was still a good day overall for him.
Ettore Lattanzio, defensive lineman, Ottawa Gee-Gees (CIS): Lattanzio impressed in the strength test as well, recording 32 bench press reps (second only to Archambault). He was ranked 20th heading into the combine, and may be able to boost his stock further. At 5'11'' and 246 pounds, he was the smallest defensive lineman there, but benched more than anyone else at his position, and also looked good in the broad jump with a jump of nine feet, two inches. We'll see how he does Sunday.