Toronto Argonauts general manager Jim Popp truly believes Canadian quarterback Noah Picton deserves a shot to play in the CFL.
Popp signed the University of Regina Rams pivot after Picton went unselected in the 2018 CFL draft and addressed the decision during Tuesday’s season preview conference call.
“He was on our draft board and he graded out well enough to be drafted. Sometimes you go through the draft and you could pick all the guys that are available and how they rank and take the best guy and sometimes you have to take need. So it wasn’t a necessary need at quarterback. He’s got things working against him as so-called Doug Flutie when you’re the height you are [Picton measured just over 5-foot-8 and 177 pounds at the CFL combine]. But he’s a tremendous athlete. He’s so cerebral. He plays the game the right way. I’m excited to see what he can do and actually get out there and compete at a pro level,” Popp said.
“This is a guy who wants to be a coach when he’s done playing. I called coach and I talked to the personnel staff and I said I really want to give this young man a chance. So I was glad he wanted to be in camp and come in and compete.”
Picton won the Hec Crighton Trophy in 2016 after setting a USports single-season record with 3,186 passing yards. He followed that up with a first-team All-Canadian selection in 2017. Picton is already the Canada West conference’s all-time leading passer (9,840).
Argos head coach Marc Trestman has not seen Picton play at all, but he’s had some communication with the Regina native.
“I’ve had some text conversations with him and I’ve been impressed with that alone. I hope to get to know him over the next few weeks. I’m very excited to get a chance to get to see him out a practice,” Trestman said.
“Jim speaks very, very highly of him. I’m really looking forward to meeting him, not only from a football standpoint but from a personal standpoint I can just tell by the minimal dialogue that we have had that he’s going to be a fun guy to coach.”