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.
|Team||Played / Picks (%)||League GP||Team GP|
|League Total||1,740 / 3,978 (43.74%)||99,666||54,464 (54.65%)|
|Calgary Stampeders||242 / 485 (49.90%)||13,546||8,191 (60.47%)|
|Edmonton Elks||212 / 427 (49.65%)||12,015||6,056 (50.40%)|
|BC Lions||206 / 428 (48.13%)||13,985||7,442 (53.21%)|
|Toronto Argonauts||208 / 464 (44.83%)||10,523||5,761 (54.75%)|
|Winnipeg Blue Bombers||173 / 397 (43.58%)||9,722||5,858 (60.26%)|
|Montreal Alouettes||196 / 464 (42.24%)||12,131||6,674 (55.02%)|
|Saskatchewan Roughriders||171 / 410 (41.71%)||11,269||6,171 (54.76%)|
|Hamilton Tiger-Cats||192 / 497 (38.63%)||9,558||5,141 (53.79%)|
|Ottawa RedBlacks||140 / 406 (34.48%)||6,917||3,170 (45.83%)|