Dominique Rhymes and Caleb Holley sign with Lions, is SFU’s Rysen John the Ottawa Redblacks’ top draft prospect?

The Ottawa Redblacks in 2019 had one receiver go over 1,000 yards, and for the Redblacks, that is below expectations. In years 2015 and 2016 the team had 4 receivers go over 1,000 yards and in 2018 they had 3 go over the one-thousand yard mark. That receiver to go over 1,000 yards in 2019 was Dominique Rhymes. Yesterday, Dominique Rhymes was signed by the B.C Lions, as they did with Redblacks receiver Caleb Holley.

Holley and Rhymes combined for over 1,500 yards a year ago on the Ottawa Redblacks offense and in the down year were big pieces to the offensive system. With Holley and Rhymes now out of the city, Ottawa is left with both R.J Harris and Brad Sinopoli who have been huge for the team in the past two seasons along with DeVonte Dedmon, Jerminic Smith, Rafael Araujo-Lopes, Wesley Lewis and free agent signee Anthony Coombs. Outside of both Harris and Sinopoli, the other Redblacks listed totaled for 219 yards on 20 receptions.

Although the group didn’t have much production a year ago, theres a good possibility they come together and put on a show in 2020 with Paul LaPolice as the offensive coordiantor.

Yes they can have good seasons in 2020, but them having 1,000 yard seasons isn’t expected, and with Redblacks GM Marcel Desjardins already speaking out about the situation at the receiver position, it sounds and looks like the team will not go out and sign another receiver through free agency. When you look at the ways to get a receiver, the only 3 options are trades, free agency and draft. With the CFL not being the biggest league of trades and the Redblacks practically giving up on free agency, it looks like the Ottawa Redblacks have all eyes on the CFL draft coming up on April 30th.

April 30th is still a long ways away, but it’s not early enough to look at Rysen John who cold be the next big name in Ottawa. With the Redblacks biggest need on paper sitting at the receiver position, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea for the team to draft one in the early rounds of the draft. The CFL isn’t exactly known for having the best prospects in the drafts, although the pieces added in the first few rounds of the CFL drafts typically become big pieces to each team’s puzzles for years to come.

Rysen John takes a moment to chat with teammates during last Saturday’s fall scrimmage at Terry Fox Field. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2019.)

Once the month of April comes, the Redblacks should have their eyes on wide receiver Rysen John from Simon Fraser University. SFU is the only NCAA division 2 school in Canada in British Columbia, and Rysen John from Vancouver, BC was able to play at the NCAA level just 30 minutes from home.

Playing at the NCAA level has been a difficult place to get to for many Canadian athletes, but for John his 6’7 height advantage in unbelievable for the receiver position. Standing at 6’7 he has had a huge height advantage over all defensive backs in his university days.

Wide receiver Rysen John had two touchdown catches on the day. (Photo courtesy of SFU Athletics)

In his senior season at SFU, Rysen John caught 53 passes for 861 yards and 10 touchdowns in just 9 games. These stats earned himself a spot in the Hula Bowl NCAA all star game in Honolulu Hawaii. Ahead of the all-star game, he was able to talk to NFL scouts and he is now being looked at by NFL and CFL teams. If Rysen John doesn’t get picked up by an NFL team, I would not be surprised if Marcel Desjardins and the Ottawa Redblacks end up drafting him at 6th overall in this years CFL draft on April 30th. Stay tuned for more Redblacks news on https://lilzbigr.blog/ .

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