For the third time in four years, the New England Patriots will leave the NFL Draft with a quarterback. This time, it's Western Kentucky signal-caller Bailey Zappe, who the club has taken with the No. 137 overall pick in the fourth round.
Zappe transferred to Western Kentucky this past season, earned the starting job heading into the year, and put together a record-breaking campaign. His 5,967 yards passing and 62 touchdowns were both FBS records. He also completed 69.3% of his passes and threw just 11 interceptions. Back in December, Zappe led Western Kentucky to a win in the Boca Raton Bowl over Appalachian State where he threw for 422 yards and six touchdowns.
How Zappe fits with the Patriots
Of course, Mac Jones is solidified as the Patriots' starter going forward, but New England does need someone to back him up for the foreseeable future. Jarrett Stidham is entering the final year of his rookie deal and Brian Hoyer will enter the 2022 season at 36 years old. Zappe could factor in as one of the club's primary backups and could even rival Stidham for a roster spot this summer.
Chris Trapasso: Zappe is a gunslinger with QB amnesia. Unafraid to rip it through tight windows. Did play in wide-open offense. Pocket-presence is solid. Average-at-best athleticism. Arm strength is good, not great. Mac Jones insurance?
Rating: 72.60 (Chance to start)
Pro Comparison: Tim Rattay
Throws with great touch. Calm. Great leader pre-snap. Good pocket awareness. Has been very accurate and productive throughout his collegiate career.
Looks like he is pushing the ball at times with average arm strength. Limited mobility. Offense has been limited to short game. Below-average height. Not immune to making poor decisions with the football.
- 2021: Set FBS records for single-season passing yards (5,967) and touchdowns (62)
- Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award winner (best offensive player with ties to Texas)