Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room examines Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book’s ability to anticipate targets and process defender leverage.
What separates good NFL quarterbacks from the pack? How vast and fast he processes information. It’s not a tried-and-true factor, but it’s one of the most important.
Reading the leverage of the defender is one of the most important ways that a quarterback processes where to begin progression reads, who is open, and when to throw the ball. When you approach film study of quarterbacks from this perspective, a lot becomes clearer about the alacrity of the prospect’s mind for the position.
Here are three plays were Ian Book could do a better job of reading the leverage of defenders pre- and post-snap. A better diagnosis on the first play could have resulted in a fourt-and-short worthy of the offensive going for it. Book nearly throws a pick-six on the second play and not only could he have completed this pass with better anticipation based on better leverage reading of the receiver, but he also could have targeted a different receiver for a more promising gain.
The final throw is a completed pass, but Book had one of his first reads open and in better position catch the target and earn yards as a ballcarrier. Instead, Book throws a difficult target with much less upside and a lot more downside.
Book can mature into a better decision-maker but the way that many coaches still teach progression reads could have led to ingrained ideas that may be difficult to unlearn. This is why scheduling team visits are essential for evaluating quarterback prospects.
Until then, if Book’s performance against Georgia is representative of his processing of information, I see Book as a potential reserve fighting for a roster spot in the NFL.
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