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Saskatchewan Roughriders select German receiver Max Zimmermann in CFL's European draft

The Saskatchewan Roughriders selected Max Zimmermann, a wide receiver from Berlin, in the CFL’s inaugural European draft Thursday.

Zimmermann, a member of the German Football League’s Potsdam Royals, was picked sixth overall in the one-round draft.

“What’s special about me is that I’m really good with the ball in my hands — a really disciplined route-runner — so I’m almost uncoverable,” Zimmermann said in a global prospect profile that appeared on cfl.ca.

“With the combination of speed and strength, I’ll probably break some tackles.”

In 11 games with Potsdam last season, Zimmermann caught 33 passes for 644 yards and nine touchdowns, with a long gain of 73. He also had a 71-yard punt-return touchdown.

Valentin Gnahoua, a defensive lineman from Le Mans, France, was chosen first overall by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

The other choices, in order, were: Thiadric Hansen (linebacker; Flensburg, Germany; by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers); Asnnel Robo (running back, Cayenne, France; Montreal Alouettes); Maxime Rouyer (linebacker; Troyes, France; Edmonton Eskimos); Marc Anthony Hor (defensive lineman; Mannheim, Germany; Toronto Argonauts); Zimmermann; Benjamin Plu (receiver; Le Mans; B.C. Lions); Jordan Bouah (receiver; Rome; Ottawa Redblacks); and, Roni Salonen (linebacker, Vantaa, Finland; Calgary Stampeders).

All of the aforementioned players were among 18 global participants in the CFL’s combine in March.

At the combine, the 5-foot-11, 193-pound Zimmermann completed the 40-yard dash in 4.73 seconds.

The CFL also held a Mexican draft during the off-season. Also picking sixth overall in that draft, the Roughriders selected offensive lineman. Rene Francisco Brassea Valenzuela.

• The Roughriders announced the release of Taye Davis on Thursday.

Davis’ departure leaves the Roughriders with three international running backs — William Powell, Marcus Thigpen and Tre Mason — on their roster. National tailback Kienan LaFrance is also under contract.

Mason, who had a team-high 809 rushing yards last season, is expected to miss most of the 2019 campaign after undergoing knee surgery.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019


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