2021 NFL Draft: One quarterback SF 49ers can scout in each round
By Peter Panacy
SF 49ers Target for Round 5: Ian Book, Notre Dame
The last time the SF 49ers took a quarterback out of Notre Dame was back in 1979, and that move worked out pretty well.
Now, this isn’t to say quarterback Ian Book is on the same trajectory as Hall of Famer Joe Montana, but there’s a lot to like for the day-three NFL Draft target who passed for over 3,000 yards with 34 touchdowns against six interceptions for the Fighting Irish back in 2019.
Book’s 2020 numbers weren’t anywhere near as prolific. But like Mac Jones and the pre-Cotton Bowl Kyle Trask, Book does a good job protecting the ball.
That’s commendable, especially considering Book’s best work often came on deep throws where he has shown the ability to be far more accurate than Jimmy Garoppolo or Nick Mullens getting the ball down the field beyond 20 yards.
If there are knocks against his game, though, Book tends to rely on his scrambling abilities first, often running himself into trouble like many mobile quarterbacks do. It would be beneficial for him to improvise more rather than looking to take off when his first and second reads are covered, which was the trend for him the last two seasons.
Plus, at 6-foot-0, one can understand why there could be some serious question marks about his durability and frame at the NFL level.
Still, for a day-three prospect, there’s a lot of upside here.