According to the Canadian Press on Tuesday, the Calgary Stampeders drafted Laval centre Pierre Lavertu with the first overall pick in the 2014 Canadian Football League Draft on Tuesday. Approximately 30 minutes before the draft started on Tuesday, the Stampeders traded offensive lineman Jon Gott to the Ottawa Redblacks for Ottawa's first overall draft pick.
The fact that Lavertu was not drafted by the Redblacks is a little bit of surprise. Lavertu was considered the very best offensive lineman on the board, and has strong roots in Eastern Canada, being from Quebec City. The Redblacks are also in strong need of young developing talent being an expansion franchise, and the fact they dealt their first overall pick to the Stampeders will raise some eyebrows.
Lavertu comes to Calgary with a winning resume and part of a winning culture. No team in Canadian Interuniversity Sport has been more dominant in recent years than the Laval Rouge et Or. It will also be interesting to see if Lavertu moves to guard because Brett Jones had an outstanding year at center last season and was named CFL Rookie of the Year.
Gott, a native of Edmonton, Alberta, has spent the last five years with the Stampeders. A veteran, Gott will be expected in Ottawa to help open seems for running back Chevon Walker, who the Redblacks acquired from Hamilton in the offseason, and give former Stampeder quarterback Henry Burris time in making decisions.
Meanwhile, with the Stampeders own first round pick, sixth overall, the team selected defensive lineman Quinn Smith from the University of Concordia. Smith was drafted by the Stampeders even though he tested positive for a banned substance during a drug test at the CFL Combine in Toronto on March 21.
According to the Canadian Football League website, Smith, who tested positive for stanozolol metabolite, is now subject to mandatory testing. A second violation, and Smith will be suspended three games.
It is actually amazing that Smith does not receive harsher punishment. Smith should have been suspended to start the season, and all players in the Canadian Football League should receive mandatory testing several times throughout the year. In wake of Smith's failed test, the CFL needs to crack down on the issue with harsher penalties for first time offenders during their current collective bargaining agreement negotiations.