As FansEdge affiliates we receive compensation for any purchase made through our site.

Bailey Zappe Scouting Report: 2022 NFL Draft Prospect Report

QB Western Kentucky #4


6’1″-6’2″/215 lbs.

40 time: Reported 4.7


Finally, I’ve found a sleeper quarterback to gush about, and he may not be the last one this year. It’s been two years since Tyree Jackson broke my heart, but I’ve finally found another sleeper quarterback to get excited about. He’s a much deeper sleeper than Jackson was. I’m very excited about Western Kentucky quarterback Bailey Zappe, and you should be too.

The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers aren’t known as a football factory, but they’re a step up from where Zappe started. Zappe went to Houston Baptist college, an FCS school. Houston Baptist may be FCS, but they are not a historically good FCS team. In fact, their history doesn’t stretch back far as they officially became an FCS school in 2014. It seems they didn’t have a football program before that. What I’m saying is Bailey Zappe wasn’t a big time college football recruit. He was actually an N/A rated recruit, no stars given. 

College Career

Zappe started all 11 games as a sophomore for Houston Baptist in 2018. He threw for 2,822 yards with 23 touchdowns and 13 interceptions while posting a 57.8% completion percentage. Pretty average numbers, but not too bad for a young quarterback at a fledgling football program. 2018 was the last time Zappe’s numbers would be described as average.

In 2019 Zappe threw for 3,811 yards with 35 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He led the nation in touchdown passes during the regular season. He improved his completion percentage to 63.8. Zappe also led Houston Baptist to their best record ever, 5-7.

2020 was weird for everyone and the Houston Baptist football team was not immune to the weirdness. They only played four games, three against FBS football programs. Zappe led Houston Baptist within two points of pulling off one of the greatest upsets of all time as 40 point underdogs against Texas Tech. The Aggies barely survived Zappe and squeaked by with a 35-33 win. Zappe ended up leading the nation in passing yards per game with 458.3 yards per game. In four games against mostly superior competition, Zappe threw for 1833 yards, 15 touchdowns and 1 interception. 

2021 Zappe transferred to the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and has 1,224 yards, 13 touchdowns and two interceptions through three games, including two squeaker losses against Army and Indiana.

Bailey Zappe Strengths


Bailey Zappe seems to play every game at an extremely high level. He doesn’t play down to bad competition, he dominates them. What should stand out is how he plays against high level competition. Texas Tech almost lost to Houston Baptist, can we stop and really take that in for a minute? Zappe was the reason Houston Baptist almost won putting up 567 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. Three of his four games in 2020 were against FBS teams who are expected to dominate FCS teams. This was the year he led the NCAA in passing yards per game.

Bailey Zappe quarterback

Army has a traditionally strong defense in college football. Zappe’s 435 yards against them is the most yards thrown for by a quarterback against Army since at least 2000, as that’s as far as goes back. This past week Zappe put up a modest 365 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions against Indiana.

It bears repeating, Western Kentucky isn’t a football powerhouse. The Hilltoppers are entering games against more talented teams as underdogs and almost winning while putting up huge numbers in their passing game. One of my colleagues seems to be upset he’s not winning these games. I point out that there are other phases in football besides the passing offense. Western Kentucky doesn’t have a good defense or running game, they just have Bailey Zappe.


Zappe is accurate, his numbers make that clear. He put up 63.8% and 65.6% over the past two years. As of this writing he’s at 73.1% for the current college football season. His interception numbers are low too, especially considering he’s almost exclusively playing against better football programs. He drops absolute dimes all over the field. Zappe is good at leading his receivers as well which leads to bigger plays. His downfield throws usually have a nice touch on them, the right amount of arc. He’s good at putting the ball in the right position over the middle of the field, not setting his receivers up to take massive hits.


Zappe also shows above average athleticism. He moves in the pocket well, he’s very good at escaping pressure. Zappe can run, but he’s not looking to run, he’s always looking to throw. He can throw on the run well and he had to show it often as he was under almost constant pressure. Zappe regularly escapes that pressure in the backfield like a magician, finds the open receiver, and throws a beautiful completition while multiple defenders close in on him. I’m confident Zappe can play behind any offensive line and be successful.

Bailey Zappe Weakness

Arm Strength

Western Kentucky QB Bailey Zappe

Western Kentucky QB Bailey Zappe

The big reason Zappe isn’t a first round prospect, his arm strength. He has below average to average arm strength. If Zappe had a cannon I’d be legitimately tempted to rank him as my number one quarterback, but sadly he doesn’t. I watched a lot of film on Zappe, multiple games from multiple years. There are throws that look like they have the right amount of zip on them, but a lot of his throws travel slower than I would like. This makes me conflicted on where his arm strength lies. As I said, some of his mid range throws have a nice velocity and arrive quickly. The deep ball isn’t an issue, though I did see him occasionally throw a Russell Wilson type “moon ball” that was a little higher than I would like. In my opinion he’s not in the weak arm category like Jake Fromm or Will Grier, but he’s certainly no Josh Allen. Someone please measure his ball velocity, because if it’s average then look out.


For some reason height still matters to some NFL teams and scouts. Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield, Drew Brees, Jalen Hurts, Tua Tagovailoa, these are quarterbacks that are the same height or shorter than Bailey Zappe. Zappe stands an apparently diminutive 6’1”, though 6’2″ has been reported as well. It doesn’t really matter if he’s 6’1″ or 6’2″ because height doesn’t matter, talent does. I only mention it because others will and it’s stupid.

Bailey Zappe Final Thoughts

Bailey Zappe is a stud. I love a quarterback who takes a small underdog school and competes with much larger programs, just like Nathan Enderle used to do. Zappe puts the ball where it needs to be, his accuracy is excellent. I love the way he escapes pressure and moves behind the line of scrimmage looking to throw the ball downfield. He throws a great ball on the run. Everyone is underestimating Zappe, but it seems like they’ve done that his entire life and all he does is rise to the occasion. I’m happy to be one of the few that believes in him because I have all the faith in the world he will prove me right. Do me a favor, look at Bailey Zappe’s numbers at the end of the 2021 college football season and then try and figure out why he’s not a Heisman Trophy finalist. It’s basically guaranteed he won’t be, but if the Heisman truly goes to the best player in college football then I believe Bailey Zappe should be a Heisman Trophy finalist.

Bailey Zappe Draft Stock

I expect Zappe to be a late day 3 pick or go undrafted in the 2022 NFL Draft. The combination of his small school background and non rocket like arm will probably mean he flies under the radar. However, I would take him late day 2 to early day 3, 3rd-4th round and I’d be celebrating at the value.

Bailey Zappe NFL Comparison

There’s an easy Bailey Zappe NFL comparison for me to make. A 6’1” athletic quarterback who puts up ridiculous numbers in college who doesn’t have the strongest arm? That’s Case Keenum. I expect Zappe to be the Case Keenum who led the Vikings to the NFC Championship game. A strong leader who finds a way to make plays. Just for argument’s sake, let’s say he’s not the best version of Case Keenum. Finding a valuable 10 year backup late on day 3 or as an undrafted free agent is incredible value. Bailey Zappe should be on an NFL roster next year, if he’s not, shame on NFL scouting departments.

Bailey Zappe Scouting Report By Jonah Anderson

As Vivid affiliates we receive compensation.