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Notre Dame Football

Ian Book Impresses Saints & Daniel Jeremiah During Draft Process

May 5, 2021

The New Orleans Saints drafted quarterback Ian Book with the 133rd overall pick over the weekend and it's a perfect match. 

NFL Draft experts and some around South Bend have constantly knocked Book for the height and arm strength over the last couple of years and might have lost focus on what made him the all-time winningest quarterback in Notre Dame history. 

"He possesses so many of the other intangibles at the position," stated Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly. "If you just throw on the film and see he spins it well, the accuracy, the ability to escape and make plays outside the pocket. 

"He's been through it, right? He's in one of the most recognizable quarterback positions in the entire country. He's seen the ups and downs and preserved as being the all-time winningest quarterback. 

"He brings so many intangibles that nobody really can compete with and then he can play the positions. New Orleans is a great fit. They've already been with a quarterback that is 6-foot and recognizes you don't throw over defensive linemen. You throw around them." 

The California native has heard the negative noise, but it's only added fuel to his fire as he heads to New Orleans. 

"That's just been the story my entire life," said Book. "I've always had a chip on my shoulder. I'm not getting any taller. It's the same thing every single time. Drew Brees has been able to do it. There's many other quarterbacks if you go down the list that have been able to do it. We all have a similar playing style, but I feel like the league is changing. 

"You don't have to be 6-foot-5 anymore. You can make it work. That's what I plan on doing." 

There is no better example for a 6-foot quarterback than Drew Brees. 

Brees was 6-foot, 209 pounds and finished his NFL career with 80,358 passing yards and 571 touchdowns. 

And yes, Brees leaves big shoes to fill, but Book couldn't have asked offense to start his NFL career in. 

"I think it's Coach (Sean) Payton and the offense there," Book said of why he's excited to go to New Orleans. "I think it's huge that Drew Brees was there for as long as he was doing what he was doing. We're different players, but we're similar in stature and he proved to everybody down there and in the world that he could do it. I want to do the same thing. I feel like I fit in that system well. Those are big shoes to fill. There's no doubt about it, but it's an exciting challenge for me." 

Sean Payton wasn't the only person Book left a lasting impression on during his draft process as the NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah was impressed by the former Notre Dame signal-caller. 

Jeremiah, who worked for the Ravens, Browns and Eagles as a scout, joined Ryen Russillo's podcast and explained how Book went above on beyond with him over the last few months following a Zoom call with 50 NFL draft hopefuls. 

"The one that I was intrigued by just going through the whole process was Ian Book," explained Jeremiah. "I don't know how great he's going to be, but I've told you this story before about Russell Wilson and how he carried himself through that process. 

"He was texting me all the time about if the Eagles draft me, I'll help lead them to championships. People will say that hoaky, but he's the only guy that's done that in eight years and the guy turned out to be a pretty good player.

"(Book) hunted down my number from somebody there and sent me a text, so we kept up through that. He asked good questions and then you talk to teams and they said he interviewed really well. I know one of the teams I talked to with some veteran guys said this guy has a little Rich Gannon to him. He's got a little of that it thing going on. I know a bunch of people were targeting him there in the 4th round. I was stoked for him to go to New Orleans. He couldn't have found a better place. If Drew Brees was in a movie and needed a stunt double, I'm not saying as a player, but as body type, he looks like the exact same dude. They're the exact same build and size. I'm excited for him." 

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