Eagles claim former fourth-round pick off waivers to be their third quarterback

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Chauncey Gardner-Johnson isn’t the only member of the Saints leaving the Big Easy to join the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Birds are also adding former New Orleans quarterback Ian Book to their roster. They put a waiver claim (19th in the order) in on him after the Saints cut their 2021 fourth-round pick on Tuesday.

The corresponding move to clear a spot for Book is currently unclear; note that it can’t involve the Eagles placing a player on injured reserve with eligibility to return this season. Stay tuned on that front.

While some might question if the Eagles really need to keep three quarterbacks on their 53-player roster, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that The QB Factory added another passer to the team. They seemingly wanted to keep Reid Sinnett behind Jalen Hurts and Gardner Minshew. That is, until Sinnett really bombed in the preseason games. Howie Roseman historically likes to keep three quarterbacks.

Book, 24, played college football at Notre Dame. He finished as the Fighting Irish’s all-time winningest quarterback with a starting record of 30-5. Book completed 63.8% of his attempts for 7.8 yards per attempt, 72 touchdowns, and 20 interceptions.

The Saints were forced to use Book for one start last season after suffering multiple quarterback injuries. He completed 12 of his 20 attempts (60%) in that game for 135 yards (6.8 yards per attempt), zero touchdowns, two interceptions, and a 40.6 passer rating in 20 to 3 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

Book hardly seems like the most intriguing developmental option but the Birds clearly see some value in his potential. With Minshew set to be a free agent after this season, he could theoretically rise to the QB2 job next year. But Book has much to prove before anyone can really feel confident about him playing meaningful snaps.

Here’s the book pre-draft scouting report on Book via NFL.com:

Notre Dame’s winningest quarterback brings plenty of leadership and overall intangibles with him. He has big game experience in his background, too. However, his size and arm strength fall below NFL standards and there is n’t anything in his game that he can really hang his hat on that counters those issues. He makes receivers work too hard for the catch and was dreadful throwing outside the numbers in 2020. He’s effective in RPO calls. He also does a nice job of feeling pocket pressure and sliding around it or getting outside the pocket to make plays. He’s a capable runner and a plus athlete but he does n’t have the necessary play traits to make a splash in the NFL.

College highlights:

Spider graph via Mockdraftable:


In other waiver wire news, the Eagles lost Jack Anderson to the New York Giants and Josh Blackwell to the Chicago Bears.

There are multiple reasons why Anderson to NYG makes sense. Former Bills executive GM was in Buffalo when Anderson was drafted there last year. Former Eagles executive Brandon Brown, who oversaw pro personnel moves in Philly, likely played a role in the Birds signing Anderson away from Buffalo’s practice squad. Oh, and the Giants’ offensive line isn’t all that great and could certainly use more help. Good pickup for them, unfortunately. I was one of many beat writers who had Anderson making the Eagles’ 53-player roster but they ended up keeping Josh Sills instead. They seemingly valued Sills’ tackle/guard versatility more than Anderson’s center/guard repertoire.

As for Blackwell, that’s an interesting one. Didn’t even have him making the Eagles’ practice squad. He was just waived (and not picked up) by the Birds last week as they trimmed down to 80 players. The Eagles only brought him back on a temporary basis to eat up snaps in the preseason finale. But, hey, good for Blackwell.

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