This 2022 QB is ‘cut from a similar cloth’ as Taylor Heinicke originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The Commanders already have their 2022 starting quarterback in Carson Wentz, and behind him, an experienced and entertaining backup in Taylor Heinicke. But if they wanted to round out their depth chart at the position with a final piece, and one who resembles their second option, this year’s draft class could present them with the chance to do so.
On the most recent Washington Football Talk podcast episode, ESPN draft guru Jordan Reid joined to provide insight on where the franchise could go with its first-round selection as well as possible routes in the second round. Before he departed, though, Reid identified a signal caller who causes him to think about Heinicke.
“Bailey Zappe from Western Kentucky, he’s one that I like a lot,” Reid told the podcast. “He just has that magnetic and infectious personality. Had ridiculous numbers last year. Almost 6,000 passing yards, 62 passing touchdowns, too. He has the numbers.”
No, Reid didn’t misspeak; those are actual stats the Zappe put up in his lone season at Western Kentucky. Before Zappe made it to the highest level of college football, he led Houston Baptist, a FCS program, from 2017 to 2020.
After the first wave of passers are called next week — the Kenny Picketts, Malik Willises and Matt Corrals — there could be a bit of a lull until the best of the rest are picked up. Zappe, however, is expected to lead that latter group along with Carson Strong.
Unfortunately, Zappe’s gaudy production is probably the best part of his résumé. Aside from that, there’s not a whole lot that truly stands out about his game.
But according to Reid, Zappe can do enough to stick in the pros, even if he doesn’t pen a remarkable career there.
“Doesn’t have a super-strong arm but he’s very accurate and knows where to go with the football,” Reid said. “So if you’re looking for somebody that can be high-quality insurance or a younger option that is cut from a similar cloth like a young Taylor Heinicke, I definitely think he could [be of interest] to Washington.”
As for when Zappe should go off the board, Reid’s assessment is a bit higher than the overall draft analyst community, which views the nearly 23-year-old as a fringe Day 3 talent.
“I think he’s probably going to go somewhere in the late third, early fourth-round range if I had to guess right now,” Reid said.
The Commanders don’t own any capital in the third round, but they are slated to choose 113th overall on Saturday. Ron Rivera’s club needs reinforcements at many spots, but he has indicated recently that he’s interested in scooping up a developmental quarterback late in the event.
As someone who’s very fond of Heinicke, perhaps acquiring a supposed Heinicke doppelgänger will be a priority for the coach.