The Patriots turned heads on Saturday when they drafted quarterback Bailey Zappe in the fourth round. Why draft a quarterback when you have Mac Jones and Jarrett Stidham? Simple. They see Zappe as more than a developmental quarterback.
Now before you start thinking that I am implying that Mac’s job is on the line, it is not. He is the starting quarterback of the Patriots. Now and in the future.
Zappe was drafted to be his back up. The organization has clearly decided that Stidham is no longer in their plans long term.
Director of Player Personnel Matt Groh talked about why the Patriots drafted Zappe.
” Yeah, you put on the film of Bailey Zappe and it’s hard not to like him. It’s a lot of completions, it’s a lot of touchdown passes, and it’s a lot of wins. This guy is a winner, the way he’s able to lead and command his team. He’s got a lot of great traits that you want in a quarterback. Most importantly, success, with the way he’s able to produce on the field and do what’s right for the team and get the ball to the playmakers, which he was fortunate enough to have at Houston Baptist and at Western Kentucky.”
Groh added: “Coach Helton gave him a lot of responsibility, and he really did a great job for his teams.”
Zappe is the ideal back up in many ways despite his stature. He’s smart, manages the offense, takes care of the ball and gets it to his playmakers. He is not going to wow you with any of his physical traits but he can produce when called upon.
The Patriots espouse to the Andy Reid school of thought that you could never have enough quarterbacks. It seems like every other year, they draft one in the middle rounds. Groh reinforced that notion in his post draft presser.
“Yeah, there’s always value in having good players on your team, and Bailey is a good player and he’s going to add value to our team. It’s going to be up to him to kind of carve out what role that is here initially and then going forward. I think it might have been Mike last night asked a question about value, and there’s — whatever it is at that quarterback position.”
Groh continued: “One guy is only on the field, but you’d better have another good one or two or three or whoever it is in the system coming up, because you never know when those guys are going to be needed, and if you’re short at that position, you’re going to be in real trouble. Just like a college program that might bring in a highly recruited quarterback one year, you can’t really afford to skip a year. You’ve got to have plenty of talent there at that position, and we had an opportunity to add Bailey and tried to add some good value to the quarterback position.”
The Patriots believe they got a good one in Zappe. It goes beyond the record setting career numbers (140 TD’s, 15, 971 yards) They believe Zappe can play and develop into a back up.
There are no guarantees in the NFL but Zappe will have every opportunity to back up Mac. The Patriots wouldn’t have drafted him if they didn’t envision that for him.