COUGAR ADAM BRAIDWOOD was selected Thursday by the Edmonton Eskimos with the first overall pick in the 2006 Canadian Football League Draft. The two-year starting defensive end is the second Cougar to be the top selection overall, joining former WSU defensive lineman Rob Meier, who was the top pick in the 1999 CFL Draft. But will he embark on a professional career in his native Canada, or will the NFL come calling?
Braidwood said he'd wait for the NFL Draft, held next weekend on April 29-30, before making any future decision. Meier (who never missed a game at Washington State) was drafted in the seventh round, the 241st pick overall, by the Jacksonville Jaguars after being the CFL's No. 1 top draft choice. He proceeded to play in 75 consecutive games since being drafted in 2000, and 83 overall, with 17 starts under his belt.
“We’ll see what happens with the NFL Draft,” said Braidwood. “I still have hopes and expectations of playing in the NFL.”
The Eskimos training camp begins in May.
The 6-foot-4, 274 pounder out of Delta, British Columbia, said being selected with the first pick was unexpected, as was the resulting media attention.
“It was a pretty wild day,” said Braidwood. “I suspected I would go in the Top Five from what I had been told, but didn’t think I would go No. 1 overall. It was definitely a surprise, a good surprise.”
Braidwood, who played as a true freshman and did not redshirt at WSU, started 23 of 48 games at Washington State, including all 22 the past two seasons. He finished his Cougar career with 90 total tackles, 13.5 sacks and 22 tackles for loss
“We are as excited as we can be for Adam,” said WSU Defensive Coordinator Robb Akey. “To be the first player selected is an outstanding achievement and a testament to the work Adam put in this past year.”
In his senior season, Braidwood registered 27 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. The sack total ranked him in the league's top ten.
At the NFL Pro Day in Pullman last month, Braidwood benched 31 reps with 225 on the bar. At the NFL combine, only three of 26 defensive ends who attended put up more reps.
Adam Braidwood profile
NOTE: Mark your calendars for this upcoming Wednesday, April 26, at 7 p.m. PT when Jeff McQuarrie, producer and director of an upcoming new 4-hour documentary on the colorful history Cougar Football scheduled for release later this year, will be answering questions in the CF.C chat room. McQuarrie has been working on the film for several years and along the way has talked to a Who's Who from the Cougar Nation including Keith Jackson, Drew Bledsoe, Marcus Trufant, Mike Utley, Steve Gleason and many, many more. Head to Legends of the Palouse for more info.