Canadian Football Player Drafts

Draft Formats and History

In 1952, the IRFU held the first Canadian Football Amateur entry draft. The Big Four teams selected Canadian players from five Eastern Canadian universities — McGill, McMaster, Queen's, Toronto and Western Ontario. The draft evolved with the development of Canadian football and the formation of the CFL, eventually expanding to additional Canadian universities and finally to national (non-import) players who attended US colleges.

Entry drafts for Mexico's Liga de Futbol Americano (LFA) and European players were added in 2019, followed by a single global entry draft starting in 2020 (which was postponed due to the Global pandemic and first held in 2021).

Territorial protections allowed teams to protect first two players (1973-1982), then one player (1983-1984) from their territory prior to the draft. Territory protections were reintroduced in 2019 with the two teams with the lowest priority order granted territory selections of one player each from their territory after the second round. The suspension of territorial protections, plus other changes were made for the 2021 draft due to conditions caused by the global pandemic.

Supplemental drafts provide a way for players who do not make the eligibility deadline for the main draft to be selected before the next draft. In addition, the CFL has held expansion drafts to stock expansion teams, equalization drafts as a competitive balance measure, and dispersal drafts.

Global Entry Drafts
Expansion Drafts
Years Held
Equalization Drafts
Years Held
Dispersal Drafts
Years Held
Amateur Draft Team Breakdown
Team Played / Picks (%) League GP Team GP
League Total 1,724 / 3,978 (43.34%) 98,279 53,500 (54.44%)
Edmonton Elks 210 / 427 (49.18%) 11,839 5,934 (50.12%)
Calgary Stampeders 238 / 485 (49.07%) 13,395 8,073 (60.27%)
BC Lions 205 / 428 (47.90%) 13,809 7,317 (52.99%)
Toronto Argonauts 208 / 464 (44.83%) 10,325 5,650 (54.72%)
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 171 / 397 (43.07%) 9,572 5,749 (60.06%)
Montreal Alouettes 193 / 464 (41.59%) 11,983 6,568 (54.81%)
Saskatchewan Roughriders 170 / 410 (41.46%) 11,165 6,113 (54.75%)
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 190 / 497 (38.23%) 9,411 5,024 (53.38%)
Ottawa RedBlacks 139 / 406 (34.24%) 6,780 3,072 (45.31%)
Amateur Draft Position and College Breakdown
Breakdown by College/Program
  • 271 — Western Ontario
  • 243 — Toronto
  • 219 — Simon Fraser
  • 198 — Queen's
  • 173 — British Columbia (UBC)
  • 162 — Calgary
  • 161 — McMaster
  • 160 — Alberta
  • 141 — McGill
  • 139 — Manitoba
  • 132 — Saskatchewan
  • 127 — Wilfrid Laurier
  • 123 — Ottawa
  • 107 — Guelph
  • 88 — Saint Mary's
  • 81 — Bishop's
  • 77 — Carleton
  • 72 — Laval
  • 67 — Concordia
  • 65 — Waterloo
  • 62 — St. Francis Xavier
  • 57 — Windsor
  • 56 — Acadia
  • 54 — York
  • 41 — Montreal
  • 37 — Mount Allison
  • 37 — Regina
  • 34 — Waterloo Lutheran
  • 29 — Weber State
  • 26 — North Dakota
  • 22 — Boise State
  • 21 — Eastern Michigan
  • 19 — Loyola, New Brunswick, Washington State
  • 16 — Sherbrooke, Utah
  • 15 — Minot State
  • 14 — Michigan State
  • 13 — Dalhousie, Syracuse
  • 12 — Utah State
  • 10 — Brigham Young, Northern Illinois, Richmond
  • 9 — Boston College, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Connecticut, Kent State, Michigan, Royal Military College, Toledo
  • 8 — Cincinnati, Colorado, Hawai'i, Montana, Tulsa, Western Michigan, Whitworth
  • 7 — Akron, Central Michigan, Cornell, Dickinson State, Drake, Idaho, Idaho State, New Hampshire, Oregon, Purdue, San Jose State, Western Kentucky
  • 6 — Colgate, Laurentian, Miami, Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV), Otterbein, Virginia
  • 5 — Arizona, Eastern Washington, Fresno State, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Minnesota State-Moorhead, Montana State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Rice, San Diego State, Stanford
  • 4 — California-Los Angeles (UCLA), Eastern Illinois, Florida, Grand Valley State, Harvard, Henderson State, Houston, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Liberty, Maine, Missouri, New Mexico State, North Carolina, North Dakota State, Portland State, Rocky Mountain, Slippery Rock, Tennessee, U.S. International, Wagner College, Wake Forest, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming, Youngstown State
  • 3 — Brandon, California-Berkeley, Central Florida, Columbia, Delaware State, Eastern Oregon, Edinboro, Iowa State, Livingston, Macdonald, Mansfield, Maryland, Memphis, Murray State, Nevada-Reno, New Mexico, Northeast Missouri State, Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Pacific, Penn State, Prince Edward Island, Princeton, South Carolina, Western Illinois, Western Montana, Wooster
  • 2 — Augsburg, Baylor, Bemidji State, Boston, California (PA), California Poly-Pomona, Canisius, Central Washington, Charleston Southern, Evangel, Fairmont State, Fordham, Georgia State, Howard, Humboldt State, Indianapolis, Kansas State, Lehigh, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisville, Marshall, Massachusetts, Miami (OH), Northwestern, Northwood, Occidental, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Puget Sound, Sheridan, South Dakota State, Southern Illinois, St. Patrick's, Tennessee-Martin, Texas Tech, Tulane, Valley City State, Virginia Tech, Washburn, Wayne State, Western Oregon, Western Washington, Winona State, Wisconsin State-La Crosse
  • 1 — Adams State, Air Force, Alabama, Angelo State, Appalachian State, Arizona State, Arkansas State, Augustana, Azusa Pacific, Bethune-Cookman, Bridgeport, Brown, Bucknell, California Lutheran, California-Santa Barbara, Cal State-Fullerton, Cape Breton, Carroll (WI), Carson-Newman, Central (IA), Dartmouth, Delta State, Duke, East Carolina, East Central, Eastern Kentucky, East Stroudsburg, Ferris State, Florida A&M, Fort Hays State, Fort Lewis, Fresno CC, Gannon, Gavilan JC, Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech, Glenville State, Graceland, Grambling State, Harding, Hastings, Hayward, Hofstra, Holy Cross, Houston Baptist, Illinois State, Indiana (PA), Indiana State, Ithaca, Jacksonville, Jacksonville State, James Madison, Jamestown, Kutztown, Lafayette, Long Beach State, Long Island-Post, Louisiana State, Mary, Mayville State, McNeese State, Middle Tennessee State, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Missouri Southern State, Missouri Western State, Montana Tech, Morgan State, Morningside, New Haven, North Carolina State, Northeastern, Northern Iowa, Northern State, Northwestern State (LA), Pacific Lutheran, Panhandle State, Pittsburg State, Robert Morris, Rutgers, Ryerson, Saginaw Valley State, Saint Dunstan's, Sainte-Marie de MontrĂ©al, Salisbury State, Sam Houston State, San Diego, Seneca, Shepherd, South Alabama, South Dakota, Southeastern Louisiana, Southern, Southern Arkansas, Southern Oregon, Southwest Minnesota State, Springfield College (MA), St. Cloud State, Tarleton State, Texas A&M-Commerce, Texas-El Paso, Texas Southern, Thunder Bay Giants Jr., Tiffin, Towson, Tusculum, Villanova, Western Connecticut, Willamette, William and Mary, William Jewell, Wisconsin, Wofford, Yale
Breakdown by Position
  • 502 — LB
  • 457 — DB
  • 390 — WR
  • 381 — OL
  • 288 — RB
  • 243 — HB
  • 232 — DL
  • 185 — DE
  • 153 — OT
  • 151 — T
  • 134 — DT
  • 128 — QB
  • 123 — E
  • 115 — G
  • 108 — TE
  • 100 — C
  • 99 — FB
  • 94 — OG
  • 78 — K
  • 57 — SB
  • 42 — Unknown
  • 33 — CB
  • 27 — FL
  • 20 — S
  • 8 — P
  • 7 — MW
  • 5 — DHB
  • 5 — FW
  • 5 — LS
  • 4 — NT
  • 2 — M
  • 2 — OW
  • 1 — ST
  • 1 — U