Diving deeper into the Saints’ 2021 NFL Draft class
Saints Draft: Round 4, Pick133 – QB Ian Book, Notre Dame
On the third day of the draft, the Saints finally drafted an offensive player, yet perhaps not the one anyone expected.
By all accounts, Notre Dame’s Ian Book was not a lock to get drafted in this class. Nevertheless, head coach Sean Payton clearly took a liking to him, spending a fourth-round pick on him.
Is this pick justifiable? Honestly, I don’t believe so. By all accounts, Book has limited arm strength, struggles to go through progressions, and isn’t particularly athletic. Does that sound like even a viable backup option? If this was the sentiment of one scouting report, perhaps that wouldn’t be as much of a worry, but the fact that this is essentially a consensus opinion is concerning.
For his career, Book averaged 7.8 yards per pass attempt and wasn’t even listed as a top-30 quarterback in college football by Pro Football Focus coming into the season.
In other words, the Saints selected before even his top proponents thought he’d be drafted. For a team with a roster that is aging and has thinned out, to spend a fourth-round pick on a quarterback that many didn’t believe would be drafted and aren’t sure will even be a backup quarterback is hard to fathom; his top model comparison is Bengals’ quarterback Brandon Allen, who has mainly been a third-string quarterback for his respective teams. Consider this a case of Payton liking the player, and failing to understand the importance of value when it comes to the draft.
Model Rank: 271 (+138)