It’s two down, eight to go for Antony Auclair.
The Laval tight end has visited with two NFL teams since holding his pro day last month. A total of 17 NFL scouts and Montreal Alouettes GM Kavis Reed watched the six-foot-five, 256-pound Auclair conduct his workout with a pulled hamstring injury he sustained just 10 days earlier.
But the native of Notre-Dame-des-Pins, Que., still impressed, posting a 33 1/2-inch vertical jump and nine-foot, nine-inch broad jump â€” both solid indicators of explosion and lower-body strength. He also registered a personal-best 22 reps in the 225-pound bench press and a respectable 40-yard dash time of 4.82 seconds given his physical condition.
Afterwards, five NFL teams asked to meet with Auclair. That figure quickly increased to eight, and agent Sasha Ghavami said Tuesday that 10 teams wanted to meet sit down with his client.
Ghavami wouldn’t divulge which two teams Auclair has met with or what other clubs he has future visits lined up with.
“Ten visits is almost a third of the league,” Ghavami said. “It’s something to be proud of on its own but right now we’re trying to get through the process.
“He’s just trying to meet different coaches, personnel people and get everything taken care of basically.”
This year’s tight end pool is considered a deep one, headed up by Alabama’s O.J. Howard. Auclair was projected as either a late-round pick or priority free agent before his pro day and Ghavami said it’s difficult to know if the 10 visits are a firm indication Auclair will have his name called April 27-29 in Philadelphia.
“I don’t usually like to translate visits into draft stock because they could be for a lot of different reasons we don’t know because it’s internal reasons that won’t be disclosed,” Ghavami said. “But, I mean, throughout the process many teams have told us they wouldn’t be surprised if he was drafted.
“He definitely has the talent to be drafted, it’s just a numbers game now with all the solid tight ends coming out in this draft as to whether or not he’ll be taken. But there’s definitely a buzz.”
It’s been a busy year for Auclair, whose season began in May participating in Canadian university football’s East-West Bowl. He then returned to Laval, registering 17 catches for 229 yards and two TDs while also proving to be a terrific blocker in helping the Rouge et Or capture a Vanier Cup title.
Auclair, the second-ranked prospect for the 2017 CFL draft, had six catches for 70 yards and a TD in Laval’s thrilling 31-26 championship win over Calgary.
He was named the second-ranked prospect for the 2017 CFL draft in December before heading to the East-West Shrine game in January in St. Petersburg, Fla. There, he spoke with 25 NFL clubs before turning his attention to his pro day.
The NFL teams that attended Auclair’s pro day were the Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Ghavami said Auclair’s injury is also coming along.
“It’s a bit difficult to rehab everything considering the fact that he’s travelling a lot,” Ghavami said. “But he’s feeling good and keeping up with everything.”
Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press