Carson Wentz is the Commanders’ starting quarterback for 2022, and behind him is an accomplished and entertaining backup in Taylor Heinicke. However, if they wanted to add a final component to their depth chart at the position, one that is similar to their second option, this year’s draft class may provide them with that opportunity.
ESPN draft guru Jordan Reid joined the most recent Washington Football Talk podcast episode to share perspective on where the team could go with their first-round pick and probable paths in the second round. Reid did, however, see a signal-caller who reminded him of Heinicke before he left.
“I really like Bailey Zappe from Western Kentucky,” Reid said on the podcast. “He simply has a charismatic and contagious personality. Last year’s figures were insane. There were almost 6,000 passing yards and 62 throwing touchdowns. He’s got the figures.”
Reid didn’t make a mistake; they are the Zappe’s exact stats from his lone season at Western Kentucky. Zappe headed Houston Baptist, an FCS program, from 2017 to 2020 before making it to the highest level of collegiate football.
There could be a lull until the best of the others are picked up when the first wave of passers is announced next week — the Kenny Picketts, Malik Willises, and Matt Corrals. Zappe, along with Carson Strong, is likely to lead the latter group.
Unfortunately, Zappa’s garish production is the best aspect of his résumé. Aside from that, there’s not much about his game that stands out.
But, according to Reid, Zappe can hold his own in the pros even if he doesn’t have a stellar career.
“He doesn’t have a super-strong arm,” Reid added, “but he’s highly accurate and knows where the football should go.” “If you’re looking for high-quality insurance or a younger alternative cut from the same cloth as a young Taylor Heinicke, I definitely think he might [be of interest] to Washington.”
When it comes to when Zappe should be taken off the board, Reid’s opinion differs from that of most draft analysts, who see the nearly 23-year-old as a Day 3 prospect.
“If I had to predict right now, I’d say he’ll go somewhere in the late third, early fourth-round range,” Reid said.
The Commanders have no capital in the third round, but they will select 113th overall on Saturday. Ron Rivera’s team desperately needs help in many areas, but he has recently stated that he is keen on acquiring a developmental quarterback late in the event.
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As someone who adores Heinicke, finding a rumored Heinicke doppelgänger may be a top priority for the coach.