TORONTO – The Canadian Football League (CFL) added a few more Mustangs last week as six members of the current Western roster were selected in the 2018 CFL Canadian Draft. David Mackie, Jean-Gabriel Poulin, Jordan Beaulieu, David Brown, Alex Taylor and Harry McMaster all heard their names called as they brought the number of Western players selected in the CFL Draft to 33 over the past 10 years.
The Mustangs six selections led all OUA schools and ranked second in the nation behind only the Calgary Dinos who had eight players chosen. Of the 69 players taken in this year’s draft, 56 came from U SPORTS institutions.
Mackie was the first Mustang off the board as the BC Lions selected him in the second round, 16th overall. The Jackson’s Point, Ont., native had one of the best seasons of his U SPORTS career in 2017, racking up 200 receiving yards and playing a key role on both offence and special teams. The veteran fullback and long snapper earned the first OUA All-Star nod of his career as he helped the Mustangs win their seventh Vanier Cup in program history.
Poulin was the next Mustang to be chosen, going to Montreal in the third round, 23rd overall. A leader of the Mustangs defensive unit that was one of the top groups in the nation this season, Poulin racked up 130 tackles, 98 solo, in 30 regular season contests. The linebacker is a two-time U SPORTS All-Canadian, two-time OUA All-Star, and was also a member of the OUA All-Rookie Team in 2014.
Right behind Poulin was Beaulieu, who heads to Edmonton as the 24th overall pick. He wasn’t the only member of the Purple and White to join the green and gold as both Taylor (sixth round, 48th overall) and McMaster (seventh round, 53rd overall) were also selected.
Beaulieu has been a standout on the purple and white roster since his first year as a Mustang, when he recorded two interceptions, two sacks, and averaged two tackles per game to earn an OUA All-Rookie nod. Since then, his resume has expanded to total 72 tackles. The defensive back has also contributed on the scoreboard, breaking up and intercepting several passes throughout the course of his career, resulting in him accumulating 24 points from four touchdowns.
A three-time U SPORTS All-Canadian and OUA All-Star, Taylor established himself as one of the top running backs in Canadian university football in his four seasons with the Mustangs. The Winnipeg native has the second most rushing yards in Western history with 3,106 yards rushing in 26 regular season games on only 377 attempts, good for an average of 8.2 yards per carry with 26 touchdowns. He’s also added 668 yards rushing and three touchdowns in nine playoff games, including racking up 150 yards on 26 carries in the Mustangs recent 39-17 win over Laval in the Vanier Cup.
Over the last few seasons McMaster emerged as one of the top receivers in a highly competitive purple and white contingent, with 23 regular season games 1,353 yards under his belt with an average of 58.8 yards per game. Since 2015, he has consistently upped his game which led to the most recent season being his most successful. He totalled 31 receptions to average 83.1 yards per game with four touchdowns.
Also heading west is Brown, with the offensive lineman going in the fourth round, 28th overall, to the Calgary Stampeders. Brown is a two-time OUA All-Star and earned U SPORTS All-Canadian honours for the first time this season after serving as part of one of the most dominant offensive line units in the nation. The fourth year Science student helped Western finish the regular season as the top scoring team in the nation with an average of 48.3 points per game, before going on to put up an astounding 261 points across only four playoff contests.