2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Western Kentucky QB Bailey Zappe

Brian Lamb
Brian Lamb is the owner of NFL Draft Lounge and has covered the NFL Draft since 2011. Brian is also the owner of the Infinity Sports Network, which NFL Draft Lounge belongs to.

One of the hottest quarterback prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft class is Western Kentucky’s Bailey Zappe. Making his way to the Hilltoppers by way of Houston Baptist University, Zappe is a gunslinger in every sense of the word. He’s thrown for over 5,500 passing yards and 56 touchdowns this season, not including his upcoming bowl game performance. In this scouting report, we’ll breakdown what makes Bailey Zappe an intriguing prospect, as well as how his skills and abilities will transfer to the NFL, and what his performance in the Senior Bowl might look like.

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Bailey Zappe 40 Time

Bailey Zappe should post a 40 time in the 4.89 range at the NFL Combine in March. This would put him slightly behind the league average for the quarterback position in the NFL. However, on game film, Zappe is more than capable of escaping the pocket and picking up additional yardage. Furthermore, he also does a great job of escaping pressure and keeping the play alive to buy his receivers time to get open.

 

Bailey Zappe Injury History

NFL scouting will be pleased to find that Bailey Zappe does not have a history of injuries. As a result of this, he should receiver a clean bill of health at the medical evaluation process during the 2022 NFL Combine.

 

Bailey Zappe Scouting Report

Pros
  • Maneuvers The Pocket Quite Well To Avoid Pressure
  • More Than Capable Of Picking Up Yards With His Legs
  • Excellent Velocity On All Of His Throws Across The Field
Cons
  • Needs To Improve His Internal Clock Inside The Pocket
  • Accuracy On Short And Intermediate Throws Can Be Inconsistent
  • Tendency To Throw Passes Into Double Coverage

Bailey Zappe is a one-year contributor for the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers after transferring from Houston Baptist University in the offseason. He was named the starting QB for Western Kentucky in August. When compared to the league average, he is slightly shorter, although he does have solid weight. Further, his predicted 40 time is slightly slower than the league average.

Zappe has good accuracy on throws into the flats, as well as screens. Additionally, he has good ball placement on downfield throws outside the numbers to keep the ball away from the defender. Maintains good poise in the pocket and doesn’t panic as he senses pressure. He has good velocity on all of his throws across the field, but has very good velocity on intermediate and deep throws from the pocket. Zappe displays a good ability to maneuver the pocket to avoid pressure and keep the play alive. Has solid athleticism to escape the pocket vertically. Finally, although he doesn’t have a fast 40 time, he’s more than capable of picking up first downs with his legs.

Bailey Zappe has a tendency to throw some of his passes low in the flats. Balls to receivers running inside routes will occasionally be off-target. Needs to speed up his read-progression to get the ball out quicker. Further, he needs to be more aware of his internal clock and get the ball out of his hands much quicker. He’s not afraid to throw balls into double coverage or try to fit the pass into tight windows, which will result in interceptions in the NFL. Has a tendency to panic outside of the pocket as a runner. Finally, he relies heavily on his arm and does not incorporate a variety of velocity to ensure that short and intermediate passes are caught.

 

Bailey Zappe NFL Draft Projection

Ultimately, I believe that Bailey Zappe is a day-three NFL Draft prospect. While Bailey Zappe has accepted an invitation to play in the Reese’s Senior Bowl, which should improve his draft stock, I don’t know if his ceiling is higher than the fourth round.

He should improve over time as he develops under NFL coaching. The negatives that I’ve found in his game are ‘fixable’, although maybe not right away. If I’m an NFL decision maker, I’d draft Bailey Zappe as a developmental prospect that has an opportunity to become a long-term backup in the league. It’s possible that his development and growth are much high than this, although I don’t believe that he’d be ready to play as a starting quarterback before year three.

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