New England Patriots

Sep 11, 2021; West Point, New York, USA; Western Kentucky Hilltoppers quarterback Bailey Zappe (4) throws a pass against the Army Black Knights during the second half at Michie Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

With their third of three fourth-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Patriots took Western Kentucky quarterback Bailey Zappe 137th overall. This is the fourth time in the last five years the Patriots have drafted a quarterback.

Zappe played just one year at Western Kentucky after transferring from Houston Baptist, but it was an eventful one. He broke Joe Burrows’ FBS record for most passing yards (5,967) and touchdowns (62). He reached those numbers with notable efficientcy, completing 69.2 percent of his passes and throwing only 11 interceptions in 14 games.

As a passer, Zappe profiles somewhat similar to the Patriots’ 2021 QB pick Mac Jones. He’s more accurate than a power passer, and has a great idea of what he’s looking at down the field. He also has functional mobility, especially when moving within the pocket. At 6-foot, 215 pounds, he’s slightly undersized compared to most quarterbacks who play the position the way he does.

During the pre-draft process, the Patriots got a close look at Zappe a number of times. He took part in the Senior Bowl, and the team had a scout in attendance at his Pro Day.

The Patriots using a top-150 pick on a quarterback is actually pretty standard for them, even a year after taking Jones. In 20 years with Tom Brady on the roster, they averaged taking a quarterback every other year with six of those 10 players taken in the top four rounds.

They like to stay stocked at the position, and there may have been more of a focus this year with Brian Hoyer year-to-year and Jarrett Stidham entering a contract season. Zappe will likely compete with Stidham for the backup job in camp.

After selecting Zappe, the Patriots have a gap in picks with no selections in the fourth round. They’ll be back on the clock with the 183rd overall pick, which is their first of three in the sixth round. They also have a seventh round pick.

Patriots Draft Tracker 2022: Day 3 picks, news, and more

  • NFL Draft 2022 Live Updates

  • Patriots’ 2022 draft class is complete

    L-R: Wide receiver Tyquan Thornton; center/guard Cole Strange; cornerback/returner Marcus Jones. (Stephen R. Sylvanie/Nathan Ray Seebeck/Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports)

    L-R: Wide receiver Tyquan Thornton; center/guard Cole Strange; cornerback/returner Marcus Jones. (Stephen R. Sylvanie/Nathan Ray Seebeck/Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports)

    The 2022 NFL Draft has concluded, and the Patriots finished with 10 total picks. Click here to learn more about all 10 of them.

    Despite the actual draft being over, NFL teams are still in the market to sign undrafted free agents. The Patriots are already moving on those. Click here for our live UDFA tracker.

  • Patriots draft OT Andrew Stueber 245th overall

     

    Barring a super-late trade, the Patriots have made their final draft pick. They’ve selected tackle Andrew Stueber out of Michigan with the 245th pick.

  • Patriots draft OL Chasen Hines 210th overall

    The Patriots have once again addressed their interior offensive line, this time with sixth-round guard Chasen Hines out of LSU.

    Hines has the potential to play both guard and center at the NFL level. Contrasted with Strange, Hines has a better chance to play center in the long-term. At NFL.com, Lance Zierlein describes Hines as a “burly, strong center/guard prospect whose strengths lend themselves to a fit with a power-based rushing attack.”

    Considering Hines’ pedigree, Belichick’s history of coaching up the position, the Patriots’ needs, and the potential with injuries at tackle, it’s possible we see Hines on the field in 2022. If Isaiah Wynn or Trent Brown have to miss time, Mike Onwenu would be a candidate to slide from guard to tackle, creating an opening.

    This is where most people would have preferred the Patriots to wait to pick a guard, rather than in the first round. But either way, the Patriots certainly addressed that immediate need and should be OK at that spot going forward.

  • Patriots draft DT Sam Roberts 200th overall

    With one of their final picks, the Patriots finally address their defensive-front-seven. They’ve selected Northwest Missouri State defensive tackle Sam Roberts at 200th overall.

    Never heard of that school? Don’t be surprised. Roberts won the 2021 Cliff Harris Award as the nation’s best small-college defensive player. The Patriots are betting on Roberts as a diamond in the rough from a lesser-known Division-II college program.

    Roberts logged 6.5 sacks and 18 tackles for loss as a senior at Northwest Missouri State. He earned first team All-America honors in the D2CCA and AFCA.

    At 6-foot-5 and 293 pounds, Roberts has the frame to potentially play a 5-technique role for the Patriots (defensive end in a 3-4 alignment). That’s a role they’ve struggled to fill in recent years. But as a Division-II player and sixth-rounder, Roberts will certainly qualify as someone Belichick will say “has a long way to go.”

  • Patriots draft RB Kevin Harris 183rd overall

    The Patriots have selected a second running back in the 2022 NFL Draft with South Carolina’s Kevin Harris.

    Here’s how Lance Zierlein described Harris in his NFL.com Draft Profile: “Big, bruising runner with good vision and the self-awareness to understand that power running is what will butter his bread. His 2021 productivity fell off from 2020, due in part to health issues, shared carries and average South Carolina run blocking. He creates for himself with contact and tackle-breaking talent, but typically drops and finishes against an open-field tackler rather than avoiding him. He’s a chain mover with excellent ball security as a battering ram inside. He will be limited as an outside runner and needs to come off the field on passing downs. Harris has talent and his impressive 2020 was no mirage. He’s a good Day 3 option for teams looking to upgrade their power.”

    Considering the Patriots’ penchant for “redshirting” rookie running backs, and that they already have Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson atop the depth chart on the ground, it’s likely the only way we see Kevin Harris in 2022 is that the Pats have significant injury problems. But this could be an indication that the Pats are not long for Damien Harris, who is entering the final year of his rookie deal.

  • Patriots draft QB Bailey Zappe 137th overall

    BOCA RATON, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 18: Bailey Zappe #4 of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers looks to pass against the Appalachian State Mountaineers during the first half of the RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl at FAU Stadium on December 18, 2021 in Boca Raton, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

    BOCA RATON, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 18: Bailey Zappe #4 of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers looks to pass against the Appalachian State Mountaineers during the first half of the RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl at FAU Stadium on December 18, 2021 in Boca Raton, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

    The Patriots have drafted … a quarterback? Western Kentucky’s Bailey Zappe has been added to the room. Realistically, Zappe provides depth behind Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham in New England. Stidham, in particular, is officially on the hot seat.

    Here’s how Lance Zierlein described Zappe at NFL.com:

    “Stocky pocket passer with eye-popping production in high-volume passing attacks. Zappe is a confident passer willing to challenge both man or zone coverages on all three levels. His release quickness and arm strength are both below average and he might not work with the anticipation or decision-making prowess to overcome those areas of concern. He’s unimpressive physically and lacks precision accuracy, so finding work as a backup might be a longshot despite the impressive career production.”

  • Patriots draft RB Pierre Strong Jr. 127th overall

    Pierre Strong Jr. #20 of the South Dakota State Jackrabbits avoids a tackles by Braelen Oliver #14 of the Minnesota Gophers during the fourth quarter of the game on August 29, 2018 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Gophers defeated the Jackrabbits 28-21. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

    Pierre Strong Jr. #20 of the South Dakota State Jackrabbits avoids a tackles by Braelen Oliver #14 of the Minnesota Gophers during the fourth quarter of the game on August 29, 2018 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Gophers defeated the Jackrabbits 28-21. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

    Another hit for the Felger and Mazz Big Board: the Patriots have added to their running back room with the selection of Pierre Strong Jr. out of South Dakota State. Read more about the pick here.

  • Patriots draft CB Jack Jones 121st overall

    PROVO, UT - SEPTEMBER 18 : Jack Jones #0 of the Arizona State Sun Devils intercepts a pass intended for Gunner Romney #18 of the BYU Cougars during their game September 18, 2021 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Logan, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

    PROVO, UT – SEPTEMBER 18 : Jack Jones #0 of the Arizona State Sun Devils intercepts a pass intended for Gunner Romney #18 of the BYU Cougars during their game September 18, 2021 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Logan, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

    The Pats have selected another cornerback. They are taking cornerback Jack Jones out of Arizona State with the 121st overall pick, a selection they acquired from the Kanasa City Chiefs when they traded down from 21 to 28 on Thursday.

    Jones stands at 5-foot-11 and 171 pounds, according to his draft profile at NFL.com. Lance Zierlein notes Jones’ “ball-hawking field demeanor” as his top strength. He was a playmaker in college, making three interceptions and three forced fumbles during his senior year at Arizona State and earned an honorable mention on the All-Pac 12 team.

    New England has now drafted two players at cornerback, which was arguably their biggest position of need. Third-round pick Marcus Jones projects as a slot cornerback and return specialist, while Jack Jones would play more on the outside, which was the area that really needed to be addressed. The question with the latter Jones is whether he’ll have enough speed or play strength to consistently be an effective outside cover corner at the NFL level. But the Patriots needed someone to develop at this position.

    Also, the Patriots now have three cornerbacks named Jones. That won’t be confusing at all.

    Read more about the selection of Jack Jones here.

  • Read about the Patriots at the 2022 Draft

    ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces a pick by the New England Patriots during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

    ARLINGTON, TX – APRIL 26: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces a pick by the New England Patriots during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

    We’ve got plenty of 2022 NFL Draft content for you already here at 985TheSportsHub.com. Click here to read more about the first two days of the draft in New England…

    — Roster needs the Patriots can address on Day 3 of the 2022 NFL Draft

    — When the Patriots are scheduled to pick on Day 3 of the 2022 NFL Draft

    — What the scouts are saying about Patriots third-round pick Marcus Jones

    — The Patriots had to beat other teams to the punch for WR Tyquan Thornton

    — What the scouts are saying about Patriots second-round pick Tyquan Thornton

    — How Cole Strange is and isn’t a trend-breaking pick for the Patriots

    — Bill Belichick doesn’t seem to believe Cole Strange would’ve fallen in draft

NEXT: Patriots Day 2 Big Board