Swedish DB William James ‘A top three Global DB’

By Chris O’Leary

As the CFL Global Draft looms April 15, we have been putting a spotlight on our prospects, focusing on some interesting background information on them. We also have some analysis on them from a CFL official that has evaluated them, either in-person at last year’s Global Combines, or through analysis of their tape over the past year.

Today we’ll finish with Sweden’s William James.

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FROM FOOTBALL IN GERMANY TO WORKING WITH RACEHORSES IN AUSTRALIA AND SOME AUSSIE RUGBY JUST FOR FUN, WILLIAM JAMES IS A PROVEN ATHLETE THAT’S HOPING TO LAND WITH A CFL TEAM IN THE GLOBAL DRAFT (PHOTO: JONAS DOMFORS)

The five-foot-10-and-a-half-inch, 194-pound DB jumped from the Dresden Monarchs of the German Football League after the 2018 season to Australia, he told AFI’s Roger Kelly last year. He was working with elite racehorses and started playing rugby there for the Manly Marlins. He got a call about the Global combine in Sweden in early 2020 and made it home in time to get an invite to the main combine in Toronto. That of course, was nixed by the pandemic. He played in the Finnish league in 2020 and had a stop in the Swedish league as well.

A year after his combine performance, his stock hasn’t changed much and that’s a good thing.

“He’s a little bit older so I’m not sure how that’ll affect his draft stock. Some teams might be fine with it because they’re looking for guys to get two or three good years out of,” our analyst said.

“Special teams advantage, D1 background (he played at North Dakota). Good eyes in the secondary, he tracks the ball really well. He was a ballhawk when he played in Germany. Very good field speed. His testing numbers were near the best overall out of the defensive backs.

“This is a top-three available defensive back probably. He’s not afraid to be physical. This is a guy who would be able to play defence. He’s definitely very strong in zone and most comfortable at safety. He’s aggressive downhill. He’s not afraid of being physical but his strength is in navigating field space.”

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