The Riders have had a lot of success with offensive linemen from the University of Saskatchewan in the past. While its not fair to compare Melfort’s Matt Riley to guys like Ben Heenan and Gene Makowsky, the green-and-white are very high on the player they took with the 7th overall pick in last month’s CFL draft.
Head Coach Craig Dickenson was on the Sportscage Tuesday afternoon to talk about Riley saying that during the process leading up to the draft, Riley’s play just kept popping out.
“He was just a guy that stood out.” Dickenson said. “He’s a guy that was always in front of people. He had great short-range quickness, he’s not as big as some other guys, but we feel that inside as long as you are strong, stout and powerful that you can make up for length issues.
Dickenson feels they have someone that can really contribute moving forward and that he is excited to help him grow as he starts his path to being a professional football player.
“As far as raw talent and ability goes, he has that.” Dickenson said. ” It’s up to us now to put him in places where he can be successful and it’s up to him to improve his game the way he needs to, but athletically he is the type of guy you want to bring into your team.”
With the ability to play both centre and guard, Dickenson says he will provide some valuable depth in those areas which is key seeing both Brendan Labatte and Dan Clark are now over 30.