In his media opps with the Notre Dame media heading into the NFL Draft, quarterback Ian Book often spoke of his height, and how that was holding his draft stock down.
“Not many people thought he’d get picked in the fourth round,” said Book’s college coach, Brian Kelly, on media Zoom this morning. “Now he’s got a chance to compete for a starting position.” Book was drafted by the New Orleans Saints with the 28th pick of the fourth round (133rd overall).
With Drew Brees retiring, the Saints signal caller position is now wide open, and how that plays out will determine how they do this NFL season. You can get ready for the season with BetQL’s computer picks, and see how they project the Saints to do in this the first year of post-Brees.
Succeeding as a quarterback is all about winning, and Book is the all time winningest QB in Fighting Irish history. He went 30-5 over his career, but he still entered the draft with about a 6th or 7th round grade. Many believed he would go undrafted, and then become a high priority free agent.
However, if you saw “The Departed,” then you know what Nathaniel Hawthorn famously said, “families are always rising and falling in America.”
The same is true of NFL draft prospects. Often, quarterbacks get overvalued in the draft, and go much higher than you would expect. Maybe not so much in the mid and late rounds, but certainly so at the top. Kelly summated why Ian Book to NOLA makes perfect sense.
“New Orleans is a great fit,” Kelly said.
“They have had a quarterback that is 6 foot, so they recognize that you don’t throw over defensive linemen, you throw around them. So Ian will do quite well there.”
Brees, who is 6’1″, is one of the greatest passers in NFL history. Book, who is 6’0″ was then described and praised by Kelly.
“He possesses so many of the intangibles at the position,” Kelly continued.
“If you just throw on the film, you see he spins it well, the accuracy, the abilty to escape and make plays outside of the pocket. He’s been through it, at one of the most recognizable positions in the entire country. He’s seen the ups and downs and he’s persevered.”
He also really developed as a scrambler, and as a threat on designed runs this past season.
In his final season at Notre Dame, Book completed 228-of-353 passes, good for 2,830 yards and 15 touchdowns. According to Our Lads.com’s depth chart, he projects as QB3, ahead of former Northwestern and Denver Broncos QB Trevor Siemian.
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) May 2, 2021
Taysom Hill is projected to start with Jameis Winston the back-up. Should be really interesting to see how it all shuffles out this summer.
In addition to being a semifinalist for several of the major national awards in 2020, Book was named the Pop Warner College Football Award winner. He will now join former Fighting Irish teammate Tony Jones Jr. (running back) in New Orleans.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGN, Sports Illustrated, Chicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.