While it’s not the first time Noah Picton is heading to the CFL Combine, the lights are going to shine a little brighter on the quarterback prospect.
The Regina product was at last year’s combine in the Queen City as an extra arm for the individual drills.
This year, he’s one of two quarterbacks — along with Seton Hill’s Christian Strong — who scouts will be keeping a watchful eye on Saturday and Sunday as a part of CFL Week in Winnipeg.
“This year I’m going to have to compete and see how I stack up with the speed competitions and the bench press and what not,” said the U of R pivot.
“That’s going to be another factor for me, something I’ve had to prepare for which built up the anticipation and expectations a little bit for myself.”
The combine also gives Picton, who stands at five feet nine inches tall, a chance to show his height isn’t a detriment to his playing ability.
“I’ve been undersized through high school, coming into University. I was told I was too small to play and I felt like I’ve had success at this level and I’ve proved those people wrong,” he said. “As I proved as a player, I believe I can compete at the next level as well.”
Success may be an understatement when it comes to what Picton has accomplished on the field for the U of R.
He’s entering his final year of U Sports eligibility as the Canada-West all-time leading passer with 9,840 yards and is 1,683 away from passing former Sherbrooke pivot Jérémi Roch as the nation’s all-time leader.
He’s 11 touchdowns away from passing Teale Orban for the Canada-West record and 22 from leading the nation in that category as well.
While Picton has been training for the combine, he hasn’t had the time to overanalyze it.
“I’ve been kind of swamped with school right now,” said Picton, who’s enrolled in the faculty of business administration.
“It might be a good thing that I haven’t been able to look too far ahead. I’ve been trying to take care of school and I’ve been training hard obviously, but this weekend it’ll be nice to get away and just kind of immerse myself into it.”
The scouting showcase gives CFL brass a chance to view the players in real time.
“It’s different when you’re in front of them in person rather than them watching you on film, so to go out and throw well would be a great step for myself.”
While Picton said he tries to emulate a variety of quarterbacks, he zoned in on players like CFL legend Doug Flutie and Russel Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks.
“A smaller stature guy who is athletic, but is intelligent. Throws the ball well, anticipates defences and what not so those would be two guys, based on appearance alone and size, that I think you could put myself against.”
Picton’s teammate Atlee Simon will also compete in the national combine.