Western Kentucky’s Bailey Zappe Selected By The New England Patriots

Western Kentucky’s Bailey Zappe was selected by the New England Patriots in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft. (PHOTO COURTESY: DraftWire.USAToday.com)

By Matt Noonan

Did the New England Patriots add some competition to its quarterback room?

Perhaps they did by selecting Bailey Zappe this afternoon in the fourth round of the 2022 National Football League (NFL) Draft.

Zappe quarterbacked Western Kentucky University last fall to a 9-5 overall record while establishing new single-season FBS records for passing yards (5,967) and touchdowns (62).

The 62 touchdown passes erased the original mark of 60, which was established by Joe Burrow in 2019.

Prior to becoming the quarterback at Western Kentucky, Zappe was spotted under center for three seasons (2018, 2019, and 2020) at Houston Baptist University, but elected to transfer after the Huskies’ 2020 season concluded after four games.

The team elected to not compete in the Southland Conference’s spring season.  

Zappe, who was selected with the 137th pick, may not be the flashiest quarterback selected in this year’s NFL Draft. However, he certainly seems to fit the “Patriot mold” given the squad may need an extra arm if Mac Jones were to get injured. Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham are still on the roster, but it is possible one or both quarterbacks may not make the final cut.

The Victoria, Texas native is not the biggest signal-caller or has the arm strength of North Carolina’s Sam Howell, but he does throw a “catchable ball” that should create some explosive plays. Zappe led all FBS signal-callers last fall in completions (51) and yards (1,805) on deep passes and could certainly develop into a capable backup quarterback.

With drafting Zappe, it’s possible Jarrett Stidham’s time in New England could be coming to an end. The 2019 draftee, who has played eight games for the Patriots, could be a valuable target for some teams looking for a younger backup quarterback.

As of this afternoon, it seems likely that Brian Hoyer would step in if Mac Jones were to get injured.  

D3 Football Players Sign Undrafted Free Agent Contracts

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Three NCAA D-III Football players have signed undrafted free agent contracts as of Monday, April 27th afternoon. (PHOTO COURTESY: Anderson Mancini on Visual Hunt / CC BY)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Three NCAA D-III football players have signed undrafted free agent contracts as of mid-to-late Monday afternoon, including University of Redlands defensive back Jeff Hector, who inked his name on a contract last Saturday, April 25 with the Baltimore Ravens.

Hector was named an AFCA First Team All-American and D3football.com All-West Region honoree while securing a spot on the Southern Californa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) last November. The Palos Verdes Peninsula, California guided the Bulldogs to a 9-2 overall record while recording 35.0 total tackles, including two tackles for a loss and one sack to go with two forced fumbles and eight interceptions.

Broc Rutter, who quarterbacked North Central College to a Stagg Bowl victory last December against UW-Whitewater, signed a contract with the San Francisco 49ers.

Rutter, who was the recipient of the Gagliardi Trophy, announced his signing on Twitter this past weekend, telling his fans and followers that he “can’t wait to get to work.”

The Naperville, Illinois native started all 15 contests for the Cardinals and established new single-season program records in passing yards (4,591), passing touchdowns (56), completions (309), passing attempts (435), and passing efficiency (199.9). He was named the Player of the Year by both D3Football.com and College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW).

Berry College wide receiver Mason Kinsey signed with the Tennessee Titans shortly after the conclusion of the 2020 NFL Draft.

The D3Football.com third-team All-American enjoyed a very successful final season with the Vikings, catching 65 passes for 1,221 yards and 16 touchdowns. Kinsey helped Berry win nine contests and capture the program’s fourth-straight Southern Athletic Association (SAA) championship. Kinsey is currently first in program history in touchdown receptions (50) and receiving yards (3,343), and second in total receptions (203).

Kinsey shared his excitement on Twitter earlier today, saying “Let’s shock the world.”

Saint John’s University‘s Ben Bartch was the only D-III football player to be drafted this past weekend by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fourth round. Bartch becomes the most recent D-III student-athlete to hear his name called since Hobart‘s Ali Marpet was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Harvard’s Shelton-Mosley Signs With The Kansas City Chiefs

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Justice Shelton-Mosley, who competed for Harvard University from 2015-2018, signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Kansas City Chiefs. (PHOTO COURTESY: Gil Talbot/Harvard University Athletics)

By Matt Noonan 

Former Harvard University wide receiver and special teamer Justice Shelton-Mosley, who competed for Vanderbilt University this past fall, has signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Sacramento, California native competed in 32 games for the Crimson, catching 148 passes for 1,921 yards and seven touchdowns. Additionally, he returned kickoffs and punts in all four seasons – he returned a season-high two punt returns for touchdowns during the team’s 2017 campaign.

Shelton-Mosley is currently third in program history in career receptions (148) and fifth in career receiving yards and was a two-time STATS FCS All-American.

At Vanderbilt, Shelton-Mosley caught 14 passes for 97 yards while returning 17 kickoffs and 16 punt returns. He averaged 18.1 yards on kickoffs and 9.1 yards on punts.

Charlton’s McKeon Is Excited To “Get To Work” With The Dallas Cowboys

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Charlton, Massachusetts native Sean McKeon, who played for the University of Michigan, signed an unrestricted free agent contract with the Dallas Cowboys. (PHOTO COURTESY: Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Sean McKeon, who played high school football at Shepherd Hill Regional in Dudley, Massachusetts, may have not heard his name called this past weekend during the 2020 NFL Draft, but did receive a call on Saturday about joining the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent.

McKeon shared the news on Twitter Saturday evening, telling his fans and followers that he is “excited to get to work” with the Cowboys, who did not select a tight end this past weekend.

The Charlton, Massachusetts native could certainly make an impact with the Cowboys, who bid farewell to Jason Witten this offseason. Witten joined the Las Vegas Raiders last month, leaving Dallas with just four tight ends, including Blake Jarwin, who is projected to be the team’s starter this fall.

McKeon played four seasons for the University of Michigan, competing in 40 games while catching 60 passes for 668 yards and two touchdowns. He averaged 11.1 yards per reception and enjoyed a very successful second season with the Wolverines by recording career-highs in receptions (31), receiving yards (301), and touchdowns (three).

New England Football: Undrafted Free Agent Signings

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A slew of New England college football players signed unrestricted free agent contracts with various NFL teams. (PHOTO COURTESY: Visualunt.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

With the 2020 NFL Draft in the rearview mirror, it is time to turn our attention to the various New England college football players that have recently signed with teams as undrafted free agents.

Here is a current list of student-athletes that will be competing for roster spots with various teams for the upcoming season. We will be updating this list as more signings are announced.

Boston College

  • Jake Burt (TE): The Lynnfield, Massachusetts native, who was named to the John Mackey Award Watch List as a graduate student with the Eagles this past fall, signed with the New England Patriots on Sunday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Brown University

Dartmouth College

Harvard University

Holy Cross 

  • Jackson Dennis (OL): The Odessa, Florida native signed a free-agent contract with the Arizona Cardinals following the conclusion of the NFL Draft. Dennis started 12 games last fall for the Crusaders, who advanced to the NCAA FCS playoffs for the first time since 2009.

University of Maine

University of New Hampshire

  • Prince Smith Jr. (CB): The Pennsylvania native is headed back home to compete for a spot with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles announced Smith Jr. was one of 12 players that signed unrestricted free agent contracts last night after the NFL Draft concluded.

University of Rhode Island 

  • Kyle Murphy (OL): The Attleboro, Massachusetts native announced on Twitter that he is “officially a (New York) Giant.”
  • Aaron Parker (WR): Parker inked his name on a contract with the Dallas Cowboys after his cousin, Isaiah Coulter, was selected yesterday by the Houston Texans with the 171st pick.

Yale University

  • Dieter Eiselen (OL): The Choate Rosemary Hall (Conn.) alum, who is from Stellenbosch, South Africa, signed with the Chicago Bears shortly after the conclusion of the 2020 NFL Draft.