5 standouts from the CFL National and Regional Combines

TORONTO — We’re fully entrenched in CFL Draft season and despite both the National and Regional Combines being held virtually, the nine CFL franchises were still able to get a look at the top products available to be picked.

The combine could make or break a player’s draft, with individuals likely set to move up and down the board based on their numbers in the various drills.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at who stood out from the crowd in each of the virtual combines.

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» 2021 CFL National Combine Results
» 2021 CFL Regional Combine Results
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Regina running back Kyle Borsa had some of the best numbers of any participant in the CFL Virtual Combines. (Piper Sports Photography)

CFL National Combine

Kyle Borsa, RB, Regina

Bench (Reps) 40 (Sec) Broad 3-Cone Shuttle
22 4.46 10′ 2 1/8 6.80 4.0

Borsa set the best 40-yard dash time of the entire combine, coming in with a 4.46 while crushing 22 reps on the bench press. He also had an impressive showing in the broad jump and 3-cone.

The Regina, Sask. native last took the field with the Rams in 2018, but over those eight games, he rumbled for 613 yards and six majors on 96 attempts.

Tommy Nield, REC, McMaster

Bench (Reps) 40 (Sec) Broad 3-Cone Shuttle
9 4.60 10′ 2 7/8″ 6.7 4.13

Nield finished his combine with solid numbers across the board. His broad jump, 3-cone and shuttle stick out.

During the 2019 campaign, Nield tore it up for the Marauders, posting 688 yards and four touchdowns on 48 receptions.

Ben Hladik, LB, UBC

Bench (Reps) 40 (Sec) Broad 3-Cone Shuttle
29 4.66 10′ 7″ 6.66 4.167

The  Vernon, B.C. native made waves with his performance, posting 29 reps on the bench, good for second in the combine. He followed that up by posting a 4.66 40-yard dash as well as the second-best

Hladik is coming off an impressive 2019 campaign with the Thunderbirds that saw him post 60 tackles to go along with four tackles for loss, two sacks and an interception.

Tyler Packer, OL, Calgary

Bench (Reps) 40 (Sec) Broad 3-Cone Shuttle
27 5.6 8′ 5″ (UNV) 7.66 4.6

Packer had a strong showing at his virtual combine, highlighted by 27 reps on the bench — the third-best total at the National Combine — along with a 4.6-second shuffle.

Teammate Logan Bandy has garnered headlines during the draft process to this point, but Packer certainly showed what he could do with this performance.

University of Alberta Defensive lineman Cole Nelson. (University of Alberta Athletics)

Cole Nelson, DL, Alberta

Bench (Reps) 40 (Sec) Broad 3-Cone Shuttle
25 4.96 9′ 5/8″ 7.6 4.76

Nelson finished with 25 reps on the bench, which gave him the fourth-best total in the combine. His sub-five-second shuttle also sticks out from the rest of the numbers.

The Ponoka, AB. native appeared in six games for the Golden Bears during the 2019 season, finishing the year with 10 tackles.

CFL Regional Combine

Daniel McWhirter, DB, Carleton

Bench (Reps) 40 (Sec) Broad 3-Cone Shuttle
DNP 4.56 10′ 1 1/8″ 4.16 6.867 (UNV)

McWhirter finished with the second-best 40 time in the Regional Combine, coming in at a 4.56. He also had the best 3-cone time and posted one of the best broad jumps of any participant.

During the 2019 campaign with the Ravens, McWhirter had a team-best five interceptions along with eight tackles and four pass breakups while appearing in all eight games.

Jonathan Breton-Robert, REC, Laval

Bench (Reps) 40 (Sec) Broad 3-Cone Shuttle
15 4.63 9′ 3.5″ 6.60 4.20

Breton-Robert posted the second-best bench press total for receivers in the Regional Combine with 15 while also finishing with one of the best 40 times. His shuttle was also tied for tops among all individuals who participated.

The Laval receiver is a two-time RSEQ Offensive All-Star and was also named to the U SPORTS Second Offensive All-Team after finishing with 364 yards and a touchdown on 58 receptions for the Rouge et Or in 2019.

Matt Watson, DB, Mount Allison

Bench (Reps) 40 (Sec) Broad 3-Cone Shuttle
15 4.66 9′ 5 5/8″ 4.20 6.96

The Brampton, Ont. native posted the best number on the bench among defensive backs at the Regional Combine, putting up 15 reps. He also had strong showings in the 40, broad jump and 3-cone drills.

In 20 career games for the Mounties, Watson has 43 tackles, two sacks and three interceptions.

Elliott Graham, LB, UBC

Bench (Reps) 40 (Sec) Broad 3-Cone Shuttle
21 4.86 10′ 7/8″ 7.10 4.23

The second UBC linebacker to have a big virtual combine, Graham put up an impressive 21 reps on the bench and also had a shuttle that put him around the receivers and backs for the fastest time. He was also one of the only individuals that posted a 10-foot or better broad jump at the Regional Combine.

Graham appeared in seven games for the Thunderbirds in 2019, making 13 tackles.

Griffin Campbell, WR, Western

Bench (Reps) 40 (Sec) Broad 3-Cone Shuttle
DNP 4.53 10′ 2 3/4″ 6.60 4.20

Campbell was able to finish with a Regional Combine-best 4.53 40-yard dash while also posting solid numbers in the broad jump and 3-cone drills.

He also tied for the best shuttle time in the Regional Combine with a 4.20.

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