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Senior Bowl Preview: Bailey Zappe has a unique opportunity

Bailey Zappe
Is Bailey Zappe one of the top quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft? He is shooting up the draft boards for several teams.

After setting nearly every FBS single-season passing record, Western Kentucky QB Bailey Zappe enters draft season as something of an overlooked player in the race for QB1. Earlier this week I wrote an article describing the biggest question for each of the top six passers in this class and how each can answer. Zappe didn’t make my top six. Going into mobile Alabama Zappe has the unique opportunity to change that as he will be paired with five of the six passers that most rank ahead of Zappe. In honor of this, I decided to write a similar article for Zappe.

Burning Question: Does Zappe have the arm talent to become an NFL starter?

Zappe is clearly a hyper intelligent, hyper productive passer with average size and above-average accuracy. However, his arm strength and ability to make throws off platform give me pause. Often watching the tape, it seems like Zappe can’t get the velocity on some balls that you need to fit it into NFL windows.

How he can answer: in mobile, Zappe will be with five prospects who absolutely have NFL caliber arms. This gives Zappe the chance to go throw for throw with those guys. If he can prove his arm belongs next to those guys, he could deservedly rise up the boards.

One thing to note: Despite my concerns and the concerns of others who watched Zappe on tape it is important to note that statistically, he was FANTASTIC throwing deep. Per PFF, he was first in deep ball yards, and had a pristine 99.0 deep passing grade. The senior bowl will tell us a lot more about whether he can make those throws into NFL windows.

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