An Abbotsford football talent who once tormented Chilliwack’s GW Graham Grizzlies and Chilliwack Giants is attracting significant attention for the 2020 National Football League Draft.
Former Abbotsford Panthers standout wide receiver Chase Claypool, who currently stars for the NCAA’s Notre Dame Fighting Irish, is draft eligible at the event in April, and early mock drafts have him being selected anywhere from round one to four.
The Sporting News forecasted Claypool to go the earliest, with a mock draft being published on Nov. 27 predicting him to go in the first round and 23rd overall to the Buffalo Bills.
It’s quite rare for a Canadian talent to be chosen in the first round of the NFL Draft, as it has only happened four times ever. The last time occurred in 2011, when the Philadelphia Eagles picked Danny Watkins 24th overall.
Bleacher Report’s mock draft, which was published on Dec. 4, predicted Claypool to be picked in the third round and 75th overall to the New York Jets. The CBS Sports mock draft, posted on Dec. 6, sees Claypool going in the fourth round and 133rd overall.
The Abbotsford native is in his fourth season with the Fighting Irish and is having his best season in the college ranks. He has collected 891 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns in 12 games this season, and his numbers have improved every single year with Notre Dame. Over his four years he has 18 touchdowns and 2,013 yards receiving.
Claypool had a storied run with the Panthers senior varsity football team, leading the club to a provincial final game in 2015 and also being named the AA football player of the year that season.
He officially signed with Notre Dame at Abbotsford Senior Secondary School on Feb. 3, 2016.
Claypool and the Irish finished the season at 10-2 and ranked 15th in the country. Notre Dame closed the season with five straight wins and last defeated Stanford 45-24 on Nov. 30.
Well, we found @ChaseClaypool.
The Canadian Connection™ strikes from 41 yards out and the Irish take a four point lead late in the first half.
— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) November 30, 2019
It’s expected that the club will next play in the Camping World Bowl on Dec. 28.
The 2020 NFL Draft takes place from April 23 to 25 in Paradise, Nev.