On Thursday, May 3 at 1:00 p.m. MT, the 2012 CFL Canadian Draft will take place live on TSN and TSN.ca. The six-round event features eligible Canadian players from the CIS and NCAA, and while the first two rounds will be televised exclusively on TSN, rounds 3-6 will be streamed live on TSN.ca. The Saskatchewan Roughriders hold the No. 1 overall pick and are expected to take 6-foot-4, 310-pound offensive lineman Ben Heenan, but they could trade the pick to pursue other more serious team needs in a draft-day surprise that would shock many fans and analysts alike.
Part of what makes the CFL Draft so intriguing is that the NFL Draft process alters draft boards heading into the event. As noted by Dan Ralph of the Canadian Press, "four of the top six players on the final scouting bureau rankings list have either been drafted by NFL teams or offered mini-camp tryouts." Included in that group of NFL-bound prospects is Boise State defensive end Tyrone Crawford from Windsor, Ontario, who was selected in the third-round of the 2012 NFL Draft (No. 81 overall) by the Dallas Cowboys.Although Crawford is the top-rated player in the 2012 CFL Draft class, he will likely take a tumble into the later rounds on draft boards as CFL teams expect him to stick in the NFL. For other training camp invitees and finals picks from the NFL Draft, general managers for CFL squads have to weight the costs and benefits of claiming the rights to various prospects with high draft picks in the event they can't cut it in the NFL.
That extra layer of strategic planning is what makes the CFL Canadian Draft a fascinating event, so be sure check back with SB Nation Denver to find out where Crawford and other top talents wound up.
Link to 2012 CFL Canadian Draft Order
Link to 2012 CFL Prospect Rankings