The 2020 NFL Draft is over, with 255 draftees (plus free agents) realizing their dreams and being given a chance to play pro football at the highest level.
Among the selected players were a pair of Canadians: Chase Claypool from Abbotsford, B.C., and Neville Gallimore from Ottawa.
Being drafted is an honor — and something that so few individuals achieve — but it’s only step one. Now, it’s time to see how these players fit with their new teams as they strive to stick at the next level.
WR Chase Claypool
Draft position: Round 2, 40th overall
Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
Few teams have invested as much draft capital in their passing game as the Steelers, who have taken a wide receiver in the top three rounds in four consecutive drafts.
Pittsburgh didn’t have a first-round pick this year, which meant Claypool was its top selection. In an exceptionally deep receiver class — in which 35 were taken — Claypool was the 11th player at his position taken off the board.
DT Neville Gallimore
Draft position: Round 3, 82nd overall
Team: Dallas Cowboys
It’s difficult to tell if Gallimore is more excited about going to Dallas, or if Dallas is more excited to have him.
As is the case after every NFL draft, some players that slipped through the cracks were scooped up as free agents. Four Canadians that didn’t hear their names called on TV were quickly signing their names on free-agent contracts.
Wide receiver Rysen John (Vancouver) went to the New York Giants, offensive lineman Carter O’Donnell (Red Deer, Alta.) signed with the Indianapolis Colts, Marc-Antoine Dequoy (Montreal) joined the Green Bay Packers and defensive lineman Michael Hoecht (Oakville, Ont.) inked a deal with the Los Angeles Rams.
How they fit with their respective NFL teams is more difficult to define, as they face a tougher battle of making the roster after being passed over 255 times during draft weekend.
But just like Claypool and Gallimore, they now have a chance — a chance to take that next step toward a career in pro football.