CFL midseason All-Star Team and player awards: Winnipeg's Zach Collaros takes home the Most Outstanding Player Award, Ottawa's Dustin Crum is Most Outstanding Rookie

2RD10R3 Ottawa, Canada. 15th July, 2023. Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros (8) sets to throw a pass during the CFL game between Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Ottawa Redblacks held at TD Place Stadium in Ottawa, Canada. Daniel Lea/CSM/Alamy Live News

• QB Zach Collaros is looking like the Most Outstanding Player: Collaros is the highest-graded player in the league at 90.7 overall. His adjusted completion percentage is over 75.0%, near the top of the league. He has 18 big-time throws to just five turnover-worthy plays, the best ratio in the CFL by far.

• RB Brady Oliveira has been the top Canadian: Oliveira's 82.2 overall grade ranks seventh among all offensive players, and his 87.8 rushing grade ranks third. He leads the league in rushing yards, first downs gained, yards after contact and explosive runs of 10 or more yards.

• There’s no offensive lineman quite like RT Landon Rice: Rice's 79.8 pass-blocking grade ranks third among offensive linemen, and his 81.6 run-blocking grade also ranks third. He’s allowed just one sack and six total pressures all season.

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QB: Zach Collaros, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Second Team: Chad Kelly, Toronto Argonauts

RB: A.J. Ouellette, Toronto Argonauts
Second Team: Brady Oliveira, Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Outside WR: Kenny Lawler, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Second Team: Alexander Hollins, BC Lions

Slot WR: Keon Hatcher, BC Lions
Second Team: Kaion Julien-Grant, Montreal Alouettes

Slot WR: Dalton Schoen, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Second Team: Nic Demski, Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Slot WR: Reggie Begelton, Calgary Stampeders
Second Team: DaVaris Daniels, Toronto Argonauts

Outside WR: Austin Mack, Montreal Alouettes
Second Team: Damonte Coxie, Toronto Argonauts

LT: Jarell Broxton, BC Lions
Second Team: Nick Callender, Montreal Alouettes

LG: Pier-Olivier Lestage, Montreal Alouettes
Second Team: Brandon Revenberg, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

C: Chris Kolankowski, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Second Team: Peter Godber, Saskatchewan Roughriders

RG: Kristian Matte, Montreal Alouettes
Second Team: Coulter Woodmansey, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

RT: Landon Rice, Montreal Alouettes
Second Team: Dejon Allen, Toronto Alouettes


DI: Mike Rose, Calgary Stampeders
Second Team: Josh Banks, BC Lions

DI: Mustafa Johnson, Montreal Alouettes
Second Team: Casey Sayles, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Edge: Anthony Lanier II, Saskatchewan Roughriders
Second Team: Mathieu Betts, BC Lions

Edge: Willie Jefferson, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Second Team: Folarin Orimolade, Toronto Argonauts

LB: Larry Dean, Saskatchewan Roughriders
Second Team: Boseko Lokombo, BC Lions

LB: Tyrice Beverette, Montreal Alouettes
Second Team: Micah Awe, Calgary Stampeders

Cover LB: Adarius Pickett, Toronto Argonauts
Second Team: Chris Edwards, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

CB: Garry Peters, BC Lions
Second Team: Nick Marshall, Saskatchewan Roughriders

CB: Demerio Houston, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Second Team: Brandin Dandridge, Ottawa Redblacks

HB: Robertson Daniel, Toronto Argonauts
Second Team: Amari Henderson, Saskatchewan Roughriders

HB: Richard Leonard, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Second Team: Najee Murray, Montreal Alouettes

S: Royce Metchie, Toronto Argonauts
Second Team: Alonzo Addae, Ottawa Redblacks


K: René Paredes, Calgary Stampeders
Second Team: Lewis Ward, Ottawa Redblacks

P: Cody Grace, Calgary Stampeders
Second Team: Adam Korsak, Saskatchewan Roughriders

KR: Terry Williams, BC Lions
Second Team: Chandler Worthy, Montreal Alouettes

PR: Javon Leake, Toronto Argonauts
Second Team:  Janarion Grant, Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Special Teams: Kene Onyeka, Ottawa Redblacks
Second Team: Tyrell Richards, Montreal Alouettes


Honorable Mentions: QB Chad Kelly, RB A.J. Ouellette, CB Garry Peters

While the candidates around him have changed throughout the season — and one has actually overtaken him as the betting favorite — Collaros is still the leading candidate for Most Outstanding Player.

The Blue Bombers signal-caller is the highest-graded player in the league at 90.7 overall, and his adjusted completion percentage is over 75.0%, near the top of the league. He has 18 big-time throws to just five turnover-worthy plays, the best ratio in the CFL by far.

Collaros has really shined against the blitz this year. Across 130 dropbacks against the blitz, he has been sacked just five times, and he's thrown 14 touchdowns to just three interceptions (one of which was off a dropped pass). No quarterback in the league has earned a higher PFF grade on blitzed dropbacks (91.7).

If he continues to play like he’s been playing, Collaros should be taking home his third straight Most Outstanding Player Award.


Honorable Mentions: WR Austin Mack, RB Taquan Mizzell Sr., CB Kordell Rodgers

Montreal’s Austin Mack and B.C.’s Taquan Mizzell Sr. have been impressive in Year 1, but this award is Crum’s to lose. In a quarterback’s league, his 84.5 overall grade ranks third among all players at the position, while his 81.2% adjusted completion percentage leads the league.

However, Crum isn’t just doing his damage from the pocket. He also leads the position with 402 rushing yards on 58 attempts. He has forced 20 missed tackles, 12 more than the second-place quarterback.

The former Kent State star is proving to be a true dual-threat quarterback and possibly the future for the Redblacks. He’s seemingly got a vice grip on this award already.


Honorable Mentions: RT Landon Rice, S Alonzo Addae, EDGE Mathieu Betts

While B.C.’s Mathieu Betts has been getting a lot of attention this year as he chases the sack record, Oliveira has been the best Canadian in the CFL this year. His 82.2 overall grade ranks seventh among all offensive players, and his 87.8 rushing grade ranks third. He leads the league in rushing yards, first downs gained, yards after contact and explosive runs.

Oliveira has been stuffed (a rush for no gain or a loss) on only 6.3% of his carries this season, the lowest percentage at the position. He also sits second in receiving yards among running backs at 249.


Honorable Mentions: HB Robertson Daniel, DI Mike Rose, EDGE Willie Jefferson

This award is always tough to hand out, as comparing a shutdown coverage player like Peters to a pass-rush extraordinaire like Rose or Jefferson can be tricky.

Ultimately, Peters has just been playing at such a high level this season that he should be the midway favorite for the award. His 88.1 PFF grade leads all defensive players. He’s seen the second-most targets of any defensive player this season (49) and has allowed just 24 catches for 318 yards. But more impressively, he has allowed zero touchdowns. He leads the league with eight pass breakups and has hauled in three interceptions.

Quarterbacks targeting Peters have a passer rating of just 45.0, one of the lowest marks in the league. He has done more than enough to be considered the favorite for this award.


Honorable Mentions: LG Pier-Olivier Lestage, RT Dejon Allen, LG Brandon Revenberg

The honorable mentions for this award all deserve merit. Lestage, Allen and Revenberg have been playing at an extremely high level — but not quite to Landon Rice’s level.

Nobody has been as good at both facets of offensive line play as Rice this season. His 79.8 pass-blocking grade ranks third among offensive linemen, while his 81.6 run-blocking grade ranks third. He’s allowed just one sack and six total pressures all season, giving him a pass-blocking efficiency score of 98.3 (tied with Allen for first among tackles).

His all-around play is why he is the only offensive lineman with an overall grade above 80.0. After 10 years in the CFL, Rice could be looking at his first-ever Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman award.


Honorable Mentions: PK René Paredes, PK Lewis Ward, ST Kene Onyeka

This award could be a 1a and 1b right now between Leake and Paredes. On one hand, Paredes has made 27-of-30 field goals this season. That alone isn’t overly impressive, but the fact that he is a perfect 6-of-6 on 50-plus-yard field goals certainly is. The CFL record for 50-plus-yard field goal makes in a season is eight, and it would be more surprising if he didn’t break the record.

On the other hand, there’s Leake, the best punt returner in the CFL. He’s leading the CFL with a 15.3-yard average return, and he's scored three punt-return touchdowns. The record there is five in a season, so he’s also on pace for a record-breaking campaign.

Both are strong candidates, but ultimately Leake’s ability to completely turn the tide of a game with his punt returns put him just slightly over the edge for this award.


Honorable Mentions: Rick Campbell, Jason Maas, Mike O’Shea

With all due respect to the other top-level coaches in the CFL this season, this award is pretty obvious. Dinwiddie has led the Toronto Argonauts to a league-leading 7-1 record, their only loss coming when their starting QB was injured.

The Argos offense, led by first-time starting QB Chad Kelly, is one of the best in the league. They have one of the most creative rushing attacks and a passing game that threatens deep more than almost any other team.

Defensively, they have one of the stingiest pass defenses despite the fact that they are almost always winning and having to play against a pass-heavy, comeback style of football. Their special teams play has also been second to none all around.

Dinwiddie has this team playing at high levels in all three phases of football and is a lock for this award if Toronto continues to play as they have been.


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