Baker Mayfield replacement No. 6: Bailey Zappe, Western Kentucky University
Bailey Zappe has thrown for more touchdowns per game than any quarterback in NCAA FBS history. Yes, he has thrown for more than now Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. This must mean he is a special talent. Not really.
Zappe was asked to run a spread offense that looked to pass the ball first. His offensive line did an outstanding job of keeping him clean in the pocket. He makes the short pass look easy. He also benefitted from outstanding wide receiver play.
Zappe did struggle with pressure. He looked uncomfortable with defensive ends speed rushing behind him. His accuracy downfield is suspect.
His arm strength is a question mark. His ability to make all the throws in the NFL is unknown. Does not throw well on the run.
Zappe does not seem to be a good fit for the Browns outside zone offense. Zappe has not played much under center. He does not throw well on the run. However, his 4.7 40-yard dash time means he should have the speed to roll out on a regular basis.
Like Howell, Zappe will be a long-term project for the Browns. Right now, the Browns already have a long-term project in Mayfield. Zappe’s upside does not match Mayfield’s upside much less exceed it.
Zappe played close by at Western Kentucky. The next guy on our list played on the other side of the country.