The Notre Dame Fighting Irish found their answer at quarterback and it came in the form of Ian Book. The talented signal-caller played in 10 games during the 2017 season but saw limited action. Book’s breakout campaign came in 2018, as he played a big part in the Fighting Irish’s undefeated 12-win season which resulted in a trip to the College Football Playoff.
With Book and Notre Dame squaring off against the Clemson Tigers in the Cotton Bowl, the junior quarterback will look to continue a strong junior year. Even beyond that, he’s building a strong NFL draft resume in the process.
While the draft outlook for Book should likely be marked as “incomplete” at this point, there’s a lot to like about his game. Through the first nine (really eight) games of 2018, he completed 70.4 percent of his passes for 2,468 yards, 19 touchdowns and just six interceptions while adding four rushing scores.
Book didn’t take over the starting job from Brandon Wimbush until the fourth game of the season against Wake Forest. In that matchup, he threw for 325 yards and scored five total touchdowns. Since that point, Book has racked up multiple touchdowns in every game he’s started.
Let’s take a look at the latest on Book’s NFL draft outlook and what the analysts have said about his current potential.
Ian Book’s NFL Draft Outlook
It didn’t take long for the Notre Dame quarterback to find his way onto the radar of NFL draft analysts from a variety of places. While Book still has work to do in order to bolster his future draft stock, he’ll have some time to do so and also has a huge stage to do so in 2018 and beyond.
Even after one of Book’s first games as a starter at Notre Dame, Benjamin Solak of The Draft Network openly stated that the quarterback belongs on the radar.
“Ian Book is officially on my radar as a quarterback prospect. Certainly, it’s unlikely that Book would declare as a redshirt sophomore without a full season worth of starts.” … “He has not only modeled NFL traits, but seemingly leapfrogged the growing pains that typically accompany young starters.” Solak wrote.
It’s a strong review, and rightfully so. Book has made a name for himself, and it’s apparent that he was even climbing before his hot run to finish the year really got going. Back in early November, Alex Khvatov of NFL Draft Blitz listed the Notre Dame quarterback amount his top-10 signal-callers for the 2021 draft class.
Even with Book being listed at No. 10 on that list, a few names could (and should) be gone long before the 2021 draft. This includes Tua Tagovailoa, Dwayne Haskins and Jake Fromm, who are the top-three in the above rankings.
When Will Ian Book Enter the NFL Draft?
This is the million dollar question currently. Book is a junior so he could technically enter the 2019 NFL Draft if he wanted. That seems unlikely due to the fact that he has less than a full season as a full-time starter under his belt. Regardless, if the Notre Dame quarterback can impress to finish the season and hit the ground running in 2019, he could be an intriguing 2020 prospect.
Many things can change in the span of one year, but Book has shown the potential to have NFL-caliber upside. Whether he’s able to build on the strong start to this year remains to be seen, but he’ll be a fun player to watch moving forward.