Bailey Zappe NFL Draft Overview
Weight: 220 lbs.
School: Western Kentucky
Bailey Zappe 2022 NFL Draft Profile
Bailey Zappe led the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers to the Conference-USA Championship game in his senior season. Zappe led all of college football in passing yards and touchdowns, while also shattering many prestigious records held by other college football legends. He statistically had one of the best seasons out of anyone in the sport. The quarterback led Western Kentucky to an 8-4 regular-season record, including a 7-1 record in conference. Zappe was also awarded the conference’s Most Valuable Player award and was also named to the All-Conference First Team.
Western Kentucky, led by Zappe, made it all the way to the Conference-USA title game in 2021. However, the team fell to UTSA 49-41 in the game. Zappe threw for 577 yards and four touchdowns in the title game; these stats further exemplify how confident of a passer Zappe is. Over the course of his senior season, Zappe accumulated 5,967 passing yards and 62 touchdowns, which led all of college football in 2021. In fact, his near 6,000 passing yards are the most ever in a single season by a college quarterback. Also, with his 62 touchdown passes, Zappe passed the previous record of 61 touchdowns in a season, held by now-NFL star Joe Burrow.
Zappe started his career at Houston Baptist University, and first impressed in his junior (2019) season. He threw for nearly 4,000 yards and had an FCS-best 35 touchdowns that season. Zappe was on the team for all four years of his career (2017-2020) and started most of the Huskies’ games from 2018-2020. He played very well in the shortened 2020 season, and with a few of his Houston Baptist teammates, announced his transfer to Western Kentucky for his final season.
Now, Zappe leaves behind his five-year college career and now awaits the 2022 NFL Draft. His records and dominating presence as a passer will certainly help his draft stock come late April. Over his career, he amassed over 14,000 passing yards and 135 touchdown passes. He maintained a consistently good passer rating and QBR throughout all of his college career. His confidence as a passer, combined with some of his skills to adapt to systems, could create some buzz around his lesser-known name.
- Great accuracy in short and mid-range passes;
- Exceptional play execution;
- Limits turnovers;
- Smart, intelligent passer;
- Confident and renowned quarterback;
- Ability to adapt/listen and to learn new systems;
- Performs well “in the shadows” and without constant recognition;
- Can escape the pocket, move around;
- Gets ‘zip’ on throws, quick arm speed.
- Lacks sufficient arm strength, deep ball not as developed compared to other prospects
- Lesser speed, doesn’t look to run
- Faced lower levels of competition in college
- Smaller frame + stature
Teams Who Could Draft Zappe: Seattle Seahawks, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, Carolina Panthers, Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers
Projection: Mid-to-Late Round (4th-6th) Pick
The Bottom Line on Bailey Zappe
Zappe doesn’t project to be much better than a mid-round pick. He is a sound passer and will be an effective backup somewhere, but it just doesn’t seem like he’ll have a starting role any time soon. His passing records in his senior season will be beneficial to his draft stock. Zappe has a lot of positives as a quarterback, but his weaker arm strength and smaller frame are preventing him from being an early-round pick, and potentially a starter somewhere.
Zappe’s college career at two smaller universities hasn’t helped the recognition of his name. Sure, he broke several impressive passing records, but he did face lower levels of competition at Western Kentucky. He could honestly grow and develop into a starter, especially if he is thrown into the right program (like the Steelers, Chiefs, or Packers, who have great systems or leaders to learn from). He certainly has lots of talent and potential, and with the right tools could become a system backup somewhere.
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