It’s never a good sign when the media outnumber the scouts at a player’s pro day — even in Montreal, when the Canadiens are out of town and people are scrambling for a story.
Having said that, receiver Régis Cibasu and kicker Félix Ménard-Brière, along with the agent who represents the two Université de Montréal players, weren’t about to complain that only one NFL scout, from the Washington Redskins, was at Soccerplexe Catalogna on Monday morning.
And Darryl Franklin, the Redskins’ representative, was prohibited from talking to the media.
“Whether you have one (NFL team) or 32, as soon as an NFL team wants to travel in the middle of winter to Montreal or Quebec City, you have to organize it. It only takes one team,” said Montreal agent Sasha Ghavami.
This is a busy time in the NFL, as teams prepare for the draft at the end of April. Free agency began on Monday. There will be regional pro days beginning next week numerous players will be attending. And, while only the Redskins were on site, scouts from Oakland and Pittsburgh said they would have made the trip if not for free agency.
Besides, video was taken of all the drills that will be sent to NFL teams. And Carabins head coach Danny Maciocia said he has fielded calls from about eight teams expressing some interest in the 6-foot-3, 233-pound Cibasu, who participated in last January’s East-West Shrine all-star game in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Nonetheless, when Ghavami organized a similar pro day for McGill offensive-lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif four years ago, nine NFL teams attended. Duvernay-Tardif was selected by Kansas City in the sixth round and is now the Chiefs’ starting right guard.
“It’s never really good timing,” Ghavami said. “You can always find reasons not to do it. At some point you say we’re doing it this date, come if you can. If not, we’re going to send it to you. It’s not about the quantity of teams. It’s about doing it and having at least one show up.”
The Alouettes also sent a scout, while Saskatchewan was represented by an assistant coach, although they were there only for Cibasu. Ménard-Brière was drafted by Winnipeg and signed, only to be released. So he returned for his final year of university eligibility. While his CFL rights belong to the Blue Bombers, he also remains eligible for this year’s NFL draft.
Cibasu, 24, caught 145 passes for 1,765 yards in four seasons with the Carabins, while scoring seven touchdowns. He was the conference’s outstanding rookie in 2014 along with the Vanier Cup’s most valuable player. The school’s career leader in receptions, he’s ranked eighth overall by the CFL’s scouting bureau, but is unlikely to attend the league’s national combine, March 24-25 in Winnipeg, because of school commitments.