Ottawa Redblacks take QBs Glenn, DeMarco in CFL expansion draft
Kevin Glenn throws a pass against the Saskatchewan Roughriders during CFL Western Final first half action in Calgary, Alta., Sunday November 17, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
Published Monday, December 16, 2013 11:26AM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 16, 2013 1:13PM EST
TORONTO -- The Ottawa Redblacks selected quarterbacks Kevin Glenn and Thomas DeMarco in the first round of the CFL expansion draft Monday.
Glenn, 34, spent the last two seasons with Calgary but was left unprotected for the draft by the Stampeders. The 12-year CFL veteran appeared in 15 games last year, leading the Stampeders (14-4) to a league-best record.
Glenn will be reunited with Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell, who served as Calgary's defensive co-ordinator last season.
Ottawa GM Marcel Desjardins said he took the top two quarterbacks available.
"It became a function of having two guys that we felt were the best quarterbacks available that were not going to be free agents," he said. "That's a key component for us.
"Obviously Kevin is very familiar with what we're going to want to do offensively, which is a bonus. And we also have a combination of veteran leadership and younger players so we have all the elements in place that we think are going to help us be a strong team, specifically at that position."
CFL teams protected one quarterback and 10 non-imports for the opening round. Ottawa was then allowed to select among those left unprotected as well as pending free agents but would only own exclusive rights to the free agents up until Feb. 15.
It's for that reason Desjardins said prior to the draft he didn't expect to select any potential free agents in the draft.
Glenn, a Detroit native, completed 223-of-335 passes (66.6 per cent) for 2,710 yards and 18 touchdowns with seven interceptions.
DeMarco, 24, spent the last two seasons with the B.C. Lions. He made five starts last year for injured regular Travis Lulay, completing 103-of-191 passes for 1,325 yards with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
The two were among eight players selected in the opening round by the Redblacks, who will begin play in 2014.
Ottawa's other first-round selections include running back Chevon Walker (Hamilton), defensive linemen Jonathan Williams (Toronto) and Moton Hopkins (Montreal), receivers Wallace Miles (Winnipeg) and Carleton Mitchell (Edmonton) and offensive lineman James Lee (Saskatchewan).
The selection of Walker was an interesting one. Walker rushed for 656 yards as a rookie in 2012 but was supplanted in Hamilton's starting backfield by former USC star C.J. Gable.
In the second round, seven of the first eight Canadian players Ottawa took were on the offensive side of the football. The lone exception, though, was defensive tackle Keith Shologan, 28, a native of Spruce Grove, Alta., a former 2008 first-round pick who had spent his entire six-year CFL career with the Grey Cup-champion Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Ottawa began building a decent offensive line with the selection of J'Michael Dean (Calgary), Joe Eppele (Toronto), Alex Krausnick (Edmonton) and Matt Albright (B.C.). The Redblacks also took fullbacks Patrick Lavoie (Montreal), John Delahunt (Hamilton) and James Green (Winnipeg).
But Desjardins said he wasn't necessarily looking for offensive players.
"Our philosophy getting into this is to take the best players, it wasn't going to be a function of offence or defence," Dejardins said. "Really, we're sticking to that philosophy."
Ottawa will conclude the draft later Monday by taking one more Canadian player from each team.