CFL: Season kicks off June 13 – Check out the complete media predictions

TORONTO — The Canadian Football League (CFL) has announced the results from the 2019 CFL Media Poll. CFL experts across the country filled out 22 questions in advance to the 2019 season to make predictions, projections and answer hypotheticals. In total, 50 completed the poll.

Please note, ballots were distributed June 3rd to June 7th.

Below are results:

Which team will win the West Division? (50 votes)

48% Winnipeg Blue Bombers (24 votes)
34% Calgary Stampeders (17)
14% BC Lions (7)
4% Edmonton Eskimos (2)

Comments:

“The Bombers have been building over the past couple of seasons and with the addition of Willie Jefferson and Chris Matthews they’ve added game changers on both sides of the ball. O’Shea is an excellent coach who’s willing to be aggressive and creative.” – Dave Jamieson, TSN 1260

“The Bombers have been trending upward over the last few years & it’s now their time to shine.” – Rick Zamperin, 900 CHML

“A good team last year added some pieces this year that I think will take another step up the ladder in the West Division. Willie Jefferson AND Adam Bighill on the defensive side of the ball are two playmakers that will make a huge difference.” – Jamie Nye, 980 CJME

“They (Calgary Stampeders) still have Bo. They still have Dave. And until someone unseats them…” – Arash Madani, Sportsnet

“The Lions spent a lot of money signing free agents like Mike Reilly, Duron Carter and Sukhn Chungh. They have the potential to be the best team in the league.” – Jim Morris, CFL.ca

Which team will win the East Division? (50 votes)

86% Hamilton Tiger-Cats (43 votes)
8% Ottawa REDBLACKS (4)
6% Toronto Argonauts (3)

Comments:

“Hamilton has all of the parts – sound QB, good receivers and sold defence – that none of the other East Division teams can match.” – Murray McCormick, The Leader Post

“They were arguably the best team in the East last year, and with additions like Ja’Gared Davis and Tunde Adeleke (both big contributors to the Grey Cup-winning Stampeders team last year) the Ticats only got better.” – Danny Austin, Calgary Postmedia

“This is a team with a vast array of offensive weapons. While they lost some stars on defence, they made up for those losses with the additions of players like J’Gared Davis, Dylan Wynn and Rico Murray.” – Don Landry, CFL.ca

“Marcel Desjardins and Rick Campbell always find a way to win.” – Graham Kelly, Medicine Hat News

Which team will win the 107th Grey Cup presented by Shaw in Calgary? (48 votes)

29% Calgary Stampeders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers (14 votes each)
13% Hamilton Tiger-Cats (6)
10% BC Lions (5)
8% Edmonton Eskimos (4)

29 PER CENT OF VOTERS SAY MIKE O’SHEA AND HIS BOMBERS WILL WIN THE GREY CUP THIS SEASON (JOHANY JUTRAS/CFL.CA)

Comments:

“Winnipeg will win it’s first Grey Cup since 1990. Matt Nichols may not be the marquee quarterback but he is efficient and a strong leader. O’Shea teams play tough defence. And the Bombers are due. The CFL’s loudest..and most patient fans deserve to drink from the Cup again.” – Dave Jamieson, TSN 1260

“Mike Reilly will be too much for the both divisions.” – Murray McCormick, The Leader Post

“They should be able to waltz through the division, so will be well rested. Strength at QB and they have one of the league’s most dynamic players, in Brandon Banks.” – Herb Zurkowsky, Postmedia

“The Ticats are just a flat-out good football team with no obvious weaknesses. The West Division feels like it’s going to be a dogfight this season and there’s a good chance that whoever emerges from there is going to be beat-up.” – Danny Austin, Postmedia

“As mentioned, they are the team that on paper are the most talented from top to bottom. They also have the player who is arguably the best in the CFL in Bo Levi Mitchell.” – Mitchell Blair, 620 CKRM-Regina

Who will win the Most Outstanding Player in 2019? (48 votes)

29% Bo Levi Mitchell (14 votes)
29% Mike Reilly (14)
17% Jeremiah Masoli (8)
13% Andrew Harris (6)
4% Brandon Banks (2)

Duron Carter, Trevor Harris, Willie Jefferson and William Powell each received a vote.

Comments:

“He’s been the MOP twice in the last three years, and that’s while playing for a Stamps team that could take its foot off the gas late in games because their defence was crushing opponents. The D has probably regressed a little this year, so Bo is going to have to carry the load and put up huge numbers.” – Danny Austin, Postmedia

“Mike Reilly. He’s the best player in the league. Will have a better supporting cast than the team he left.” – AJ Jakubec. TSN 1200

“Jermain Masoli. Will put up gaudy numbers in the east.” Farhan Lalji, TSN

“Andrew Harris. A threat to be a 1,000-yard rusher and receiver.” – Herb Zurkowsky, Postmedia

Which player is most likely to have a breakout season in 2019? (46 votes)

REGGIE BEGELTON COULD BE THE NEXT BIG THING CATCHING PASSES IN THE CFL (ADAM GAGNON/CFL.CA)

17% Reggie Begelton (8)
11% Dominique Davis (5)
7% K.D. Cannon (3)
4% Bralon Addison (2)
4% Matt Nichols (2)
4% Duron Carter (2)
4% Antonio Pipkin (2)
4% RJ Harris (2)
4% James Franklin (2)

Comments:

“Stampeders receiver Reggie Begelton has been OK the last two years, but he has a great chance to lead the league in receiving this year.” – Kirk Penton, The Athletic

“Matt Nichols.  Seems strange to say Nichols but he will have a lot more weapons at his disposal.  5,000-yard season is very possible.” – Dave Campbell, CHED 630

“Bralon Addison. He came on late last year, but will be one of Jeremiah Masoli’s primary targets in 2019.” – Pat Steinberg, CFL.ca and Sportsnet

“KD Cannon – Saskatchewan Roughriders have praised his first training camp and he has the speed to wow us in his 1st full season.” – Jamie Nye 980 CJME

Which team made the best overall moves this offseason? (50 votes)

48% BC Lions (24)
38% Edmonton Eskimos (19)
6% Saskatchewan Roughriders (3)
4% Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2)
2% Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1)
2% Toronto Argonauts (1)

Comments:

Some say Mike Reilly’s contract will limit the Lions moving forward, but it hasn’t been an issue so far. The additions of Duron Carter, Aaron Grymes and Sukh Chungh give the Lions plenty of star power, and with a franchise QB and a young, energetic coach in DeVone Claybrooks, Vancouver has become the place to be for CFL players. – Jeff Krever, CFL.ca

Lost the best QB in the CFL, replaced him with Trevor Harris, the #3 QB. Added Ellingson, Vincent – Rogers, Daniels, Collins Jr, Tavon Smith. On defence they poached Larry Dean, Don Unamba Jr. , Anthony Orange. That’s an amazing haul of talent. – Dave Jamieson, TSN 1260

They got the league’s most sought-after first-year head coach in DeVone Claybrooks and then added Mike Reilly. Do I really need to say more? – Danny Austin, Postmedia

Brock Sunderland recovered pretty well from a difficult situation with Reilly – they may have lost their best player but become a better team. – Morley Scott, 630 CHED

Which one player acquisition will make the biggest impact in 2019? (49 votes)

88% Mike Reilly to BC (43)

Comments:

Plain and simple, Reilly replacing the QB combo of Travis Lulay and Jonathan Jennings is a massive upgrade. – Rick Zamperin, 900 CHML

He’s a difference maker who will make EVERYONE better. Don’t discount Micah Johnson – he’s the Reilly of defence. – Robert Marjanovich, TSN 1040

It was the single biggest signing this off-season and I think it will pay dividends in BC. Reilly is still an elite quarterback and can win his team games on any given night, but, does he have the supporting cast to work with for an entire season? – Taylor Shire, Global

Who will lead the league in receiving yards? (50 votes)

WITH MIKE REILLY THROWING HIM PASSES, BRYAN BURNHAM COULD BE READY FOR A BIG SEASON IN 2019 (THE CANADIAN PRESS)

40% Bryan Burnham (20)
20% Brandon Banks (10)
14% Greg Ellingson (7)
8% Eric Rogers (4)

Comments:

(Greg Ellingson) Still got that chemistry with Trevor Harris, they’ll figure it out again in Edmonton. – Claire Hanna, CTV

Masoli to Banks… get used to it. – Darrin Bauming, TSN Radio

How many receivers playing for Reilly have won this award????? – Matthew Cauz, CFL.ca

Rogers could be the favourite target for Bo Levi Mitchell this season, which puts him at the top of this list. It seems the Stamps can plug almost any receiver into their offense but having a Rogers for a full season will mean they will have a go-to guy every week. Hey, maybe he can even reach 2,000 yards. – Taylor Shire, Global

Who will lead the league in rushing yards? (50 votes)

48% Andrew Harris (24)
30% William Powell (15)
10% Don Jackson (5)

Comments:

He’ll (Andrew Harris) run behind a solid offensive line, and it’ll be tough for the other candidates to match him. – Kirk Penton, The Athletic

Still the man (Andrew Harris) until proven otherwise. A workhorse, and still the most multi-dimensional back in the game after rejuvenating himself with his hometown Bombers.- Brian Wawryshyn, BC Lions Den

The Roughriders have stated their offence is run first and they have a back who can handle the load. With a good group of blockers up front, Powell will fit in nicely in Saskatchewan. – Jamie Nye, 980 CJME

Injuries stalled Don Jackson the second half of last season, but before that the rookie was emerging as one of the league’s most exciting backs. He’s in a good offence that will get him plenty of touches in 2019. – Jeff Krever, CFL.ca

If you were starting a franchise today and could sign any player in the CFL, who would your first selection be and why? (47 votes)

62% Bo Levi Mitchell (29)
28% Mike Reilly (13)

Comments:

“Bo Levi Mitchell. All he does is win. Since taking over as Calgary’s starter, Mitchell has won two Grey Cup titles, gone to four championship games, and has played in five straight West Division Finals.”  – Pat Steinberg, CFL.ca

Bo Levi Mitchell – he’s still young, he remains relatively healthy and has the arm strength to throw for a lot of yards. – Murray McCormick, The Leader Post

“Mike Reilly. Gotta have an elite QB as your first pick. Plus, the guy’ll walk through a flaming building for his teammates. I want that attitude to be my franchise cornerstone.” – Don Landry, CFL.ca

Who will win Most Outstanding Canadian in 2019? (50 votes)

56% Andrew Harris (28)
22% Brad Sinopoli (11)
10% Kwaku Boateng (5)

Comments:

(Andrew Harris) Playing for a good team, no signs of slowing down. – Dave Naylor, TSN

Boateng is poised to have a monster year and will be a force to be reckoned with in 2019. – Brian Wawryshyn, BC Lions Den

With Greg Ellingson out of the picture, Brad Sinopoli could get an influx of targets, if he wasn’t already thrown to a bunch already. He could be in for a big year, and will likely go up against Andrew Harris for the league award. –Taylor Shire, Global

Who will win Most Outstanding Defensive Player? (50 votes)

WILL ADAM BIGHILL GO BACK-TO-BACK AND TAKE HOME MOST OUTSTANDING DEFENSIVE PLAYER HONOURS IN 2019? (DAVID CHIDLEY/CFL.CA)

42% Adam Bighill (21)
30% Willie Jefferson (15)
12% Micah Johnson (6)

Comments:

Made a huge impact upon arrival last year. a great fit in O’Shea’s defence. (Adam Bighill) – Dave Jamieson, TSN 1260

No one does more on defence. (Adam Bighill) – Kirk Penton, The Athletic

An incredible athlete who I believe is driven by a certain amount of accolades, he has never received this award but I believe is just peaking as an athlete. – Claire Hanna, CTV

Jefferson has the tools, and teammates, to pile up 20 sacks this season. – Rick Zamperin, 900 CHML

Who will lead the league in sacks this year? (50 votes)

30% Charleston Hughes (15)
30% Willie Jefferson (15)
12% Kwaku Boateng (6)
12% Shawn Lemon (6)
10% Micah Johnson (5)

Who will be the comeback player of the year in 2019 and why? (45 votes)

20% Zach Collaros (9)
16% Duron Carter (7)
11% Solomon Elimimian (5)
7% Emmanuel Arceneaux (3)
7% James Franklin (3)

Which 2018 non-playoff team will have the most wins in 2019? (50 votes)

68% Edmonton Eskimos (34)
26% Toronto Argonauts (13)
6% Montreal Alouettes (3)

Comments:

They (Edmonton Eskimos) were the best non-playoff in recent history, if not all time. have made significant upgrades on both sides of the ball. – Dave Jamieson, TSN 1260

New coach and a new lease on life for James Franklin. – Donnovan Bennett, Sportsnet

It’s still crazy that they didn’t make the playoffs last year. They’re not necessarily better, but the Eskimos’ off-season moves showed that the club is going for it in 2019. – Danny Austin, Postmedia

Who is the most underrated player in the CFL and why? (45 votes)

7% Luke Tasker (3)
4% Armanti Edwards (2)
4% Zach Evans (2)
4% Cordarro Law (2)
4% Jeremiah Masoli (2)
4% Derrick Moncrief (2)
4% Matt Nichols (2)
4% Brandon Smith (2)

Which current Head Coach would you most want coaching your team? (49 votes)

63% Dave Dickenson (31)
12% Mike O’Shea (6)
10% Rick Campbell (5)

Which up-and-coming coach (current coordinator or positional coach) would you hire as a first-time head coach in the CFL and why? (45 votes)

24% Noel Thorpe (11)
11%Mark Washington (5)
9% Ryan Dinwiddie (4)
9% Mark Kilam (4)
7%Tommy Condell (3)

Which newly-appointed Head Coach will finish with the most wins? (49 votes)

51% Orlondo Steinauer (25)
35% DeVone Claybrooks (17)
12% Craig Dickenson (6)
2% Corey Chamblin (1)

Will there be a cross-over this season? (50 votes)

90% Yes (45)
10% No (5)

Which team has the strongest receiving corps? (50 votes)

28% Calgary Stampeders (14)
24% Edmonton Eskimos (12)
16% Hamilton Tiger-Cats (8)
12% BC Lions (6)

How many 5,000-yard passers will there be? (50 votes)

36% Three (18)
30% Two (15)
20% Four (10)

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