Bailey Zappe, Western Kentucky
Western Kentucky’s Bailey Zappe lit the FBS on fire in his lone season in the division. He set multiple passing records and performed at a high level every week.
Before heading to Western Kentucky, Zappe spent four seasons at Houston Baptist. In his four seasons, his playing time was inconsistent. In 2020, his final year at Houston Baptist, Zappe showed what he was capable of.
He threw for 1,829 yards, 15 touchdowns, and just one interception. He recorded an offensive grade of 84.0 and a passing grade of 86.1 according to PFF. This led to him transferring to Western Kentucky.
Once arriving at Western Kentucky, Zappe unlocked a new level to his game. He threw for 62 passing touchdowns and 5,940 yards, both single-season records in the FBS. He also threw 11 interceptions while attempting 686 passes.
Zappe finished the season with an 87.8 offensive rating and an 87.4 passing grade according to PFF.
Zappe was one of the more efficient passers down the field last season. On throws of 20+ more yards down the field, he went 51-95 and recorded 1,805 yards, 17 touchdowns, and just three interceptions.
He has been reluctant to throw it towards the right side of the field. He recorded just 889 yards to the right side of the field, which when compared that to the rest of the field, is a drastic difference. In comparison, Zappe recorded 1,245 yards and 11 touchdowns to the left side of the field.
He has shown a preference for the middle of the field. He was at his most threatening when targeting between the numbers. He racked up 3,806 yards and 44 touchdowns when going at this area of the field.
Zappe threw for less than four touchdowns just four times throughout 14 in 2021. He also had six games with zero interceptions.
The biggest question regarding Zappe is how well he will be able to transition to the NFL. He played in an offense that focused on keeping the pocket clean which allowed for him to work at a level that other quarterbacks could only dream of.
Much like the rest of the quarterback class, there is no real idea where Zappe will land in the draft. Some people believe he may go near the fourth round, and others believe he’ll go undrafted. Regardless, Zappe has proven that he can be proficient and perform. He has a big arm, that with further refinement, could allow for him to stick around the NFL for a long time.