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.