CFL teams select four Australian punters in the first round of league’s global draft


Jake Ford was the first of four Australian punters selected in the first round of the CFL global draft Thursday.

Ford was taken No. 1 overall by the B.C. Lions. Compatriots Joseph Zema (sixth overall by Montreal), Cody Grace (No. 7 by Calgary) and Joel Whitford (No. 8 by Hamilton) also went in the first round.

Steven Nielsen, a six-foot-eight, 307-pound offensive lineman from Denmark who played collegiately at Eastern Michigan and attended the Jacksonville Jaguars training camp, went second overall to the Edmonton Football Team.

The Toronto Argonauts selected Tigie Sankoh, a defensive back from Britain, with the third pick.

The Grey Cup-champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers took Les Mauro, a linebacker from Japan, fourth overall with the Saskatchewan Roughriders following up by taking German running back Christopher Ezeala at No. 5.

The Ottawa Redblacks completed the first round by selecting French receiver Anthony Mahoungou at No. 9 overall.

A total of 36 players were scheduled to be selected over four rounds.