The pick was in. Coach/GM Chris Jones placed the call. And when the No. 2 overall selection spoke up on the other end, the Edmonton Elks draft room erupted into cheers for Michael Brodrique.
There is great excitement around Commonwealth Stadium and across Edmonton for Brodrique, the Elks first round choice in the 2023 CFL Draft on May 2.
— Edmonton Elks (@GoElks) May 3, 2023
The linebacker from the University of Montreal is a potential difference-marker on the Green and Gold in the years to come. Assistant GM Geroy Simon looks at the six-foot-three Brodrique and gets visions of Edmonton’s first round draft choice from exactly 30 years ago.
“You watch the way he plays the game, he’s kind of a younger version of Mike O’Shea; a big strong, physical, smart Canadian linebacker,” says Simon.
Being likened to a Canadian Football Hall of Fame member is a comparison that Brodrique does not take lightly, not is he intimidated by. The 24-year-old appreciates both what came before him and what he can become.
“It makes me feel like at some point in my career I could be recognized as an awesome player, so it makes me feel great,” says Brodrique, who is partaking in Elks rookie camp this week at Commonwealth Stadium. “I still have a lot of work to do to get there, but I’m ready to do the work and I want to get there.”
The Elks staff had eyes for Brodrique ever since watching him in Match at the CFL Combine, where he posted the top times for a linebacker in both the 40 (4.59) and shuttle (4.28), and ranked second among linebackers in both the vertical (34.50”) and broad (9′ 9 1/8″). His impressive scores only confirmed what Brodrique had already demonstrated over three standout seasons of U Sports football with the Carabins, making game-breaker plays like a 65-yard pick-six against eventual Vanier Cup champions Laval in 2022.
“He’s a big guy, he’s very athletic, he ran in the 4.6 range, his shuttle was just as low as some of the receivers,” says Simon. “You saw him the pick the ball off against Laval, you see him make tackles, you see him drop in coverage. He can play (middle) linebacker as well as (weak-side) linebacker, so he covers us on two ends there, and he’s a Core-4 special teamer right away.”
As it excited as he is to be wearing Green and Gold, Brodrique wasn’t sure he’d be coming to Edmonton until he saw his appear on TSN’s CFL Draft broadcast. Then came Jones’ call. Then the applause. And everything is a blur since.
“I thought at first I would get a call before seeing my name on TV, but I saw my name on TV, and I was like, ‘am I really second overall?’,” recalls Brodrique, who was watching the draft with his family in Quebec.
“It was hard to hear on the phone because everyone was screaming, and my parents wanted to be excited but I was on the phone so they were trying to calm themselves down, but they were really excited too.”
So is everyone in the Elks herd.
THE COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF IS ON
The 2023 CFL season is rapidly approaching. Be there Sunday, June 11 at Commonwealth Stadium when the Edmonton Elks open the season against the Saskatchewan Roughriders. It’s the start of a summer full of family, fun and football. Being part of the action has never been more affordable, with tickets starting at just $15. Click here to get your tickets to the Home Opener and be part of the tradition.
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