One of the areas of need that the Buccaneers currently have is at the running back position. A question that was recently brought to my attention is, “Should the Buccaneers look for running back talent among the CFL?”
In my opinion, the answer to that question is NO!
To me, there is usually a major reason why the overwhelming majority of CFL players are in the CFL. Many of them are former college players, who didn’t get drafted. Some of them end up signing short-term rookie deals as undrafted free agents and end up bouncing around the league on the practice squads of multiple teams and getting cut several times along the way.
However, in some, but not very many cases, there are CFL players who are brought in for workouts with an NFL team, and not only do they get signed to the practice squad, but eventually make the 53 man roster as well. One of those unlikely scenarios just so happened to come in the form of current Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake*.
Instead of looking to the CFL for a running back, one guy I would keep an eye on is Dexter Williams from Notre Dame. He’s got it all, the total package.
*After a strong career as a linebacker and defensive end at Penn State, Cameron Wake signed as a free agent with the New York Giants in 2005. Released before the season, he played for the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League. Seemingly receiving a new lease on life, Wake played defensive end for the BC Lions, leading the CFL in sacks in 2007 and 2008. He was named Most Outstanding Defensive Player both those years, too.
Wake’s play in Canada caught the attention of more than half of the NFL teams, and in January 2009, he signed a four-year deal with the Miami Dolphins, which included a $1 million signing bonus. At age 35, Wake is in his eighth year with Miami, where he has registered 70 sacks, two fumble recoveries, and 16 forced fumbles. Currently, an NFL player, Wake was a first-team All-Pro in 2012 and has been voted to four Pro Bowl games. -Allen Weiner/ Cheatsheet.com
Other notable CFL players turned NFL stars:
QB Warren Moon – Edmonton Eskimos (1978-1983). 21,228 passing yards, 144 TDs, 1,700 rushing yards,16 TDs
QB Joe Theismann – Toronto Argonauts (1971-1973). 6,093 passing yards, 40 TDs, and 1,054 rushing yards, 3 TDs
QB Jeff Garcia – Calgary Stampeders (1994-1998). 16,442 yards passing, 11 TDs, and 2,358 rushing yards, 24 TDs.