September 30, 2023

Brighton Journal

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Matt Groh of the New England Patriots over the selection of Billy Zappy

Matt Groh of the New England Patriots over the selection of Billy Zappy

FOXborough, MA – One year after the New England Patriots selected the quarterback Mac Jones In the first round of the draft, they surprised some by marking the quarterback for Western Kentucky Billy Zappy In the fourth round Saturday.

Players Personnel Senior General Manager Matt Groh explained that the team is taking a college-like approach.

“Just like a college program that might bring in a highly-employed quarterback for one year, you really can’t afford to skip a year,” he said Saturday night at the conclusion of the draft.

The Patriots’ choice of Zappy in 137th surprised some, in part because Jones took hold as a starter, and also because the team appeared to have other needs – particularly in terms of defense – that were crossed.

Of the team’s 10 draft picks, only three were defenders – corner players Marcus Jones (Third round No. 85) and Jack Jones (Fourth round No. 121) and a defensive intervention Sam Roberts (sixth round No. 200).

But Groh, in his first year in charge of the Patriots’ personnel department under coach Bill Belichick, said it would be a mistake to overlook the value of quarterback depth.

“There is only one person in the field,” he said, “but you better have another good person, or two, or three, or whoever is in the next order.” “You never know when these guys will be needed. If you’re short on the job, you’re going to have real trouble.”

Zappe joins the 14-year-old veteran Brian Hoyer The 2019 fourth round selection Garrett Stidham On the depth chart behind Jones. The Patriots will likely keep a maximum of three quarterbacks when they shrink their 90-man roster to 53 at the end of pre-season in the fall.

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“There is always value in having good players on your team and Billy a good player,” Groh said. “This guy is a winner… He has a lot of great quality you want in the middle.” “He will add value to our team. It will be up to him to sort of define this role here at the beginning and then move forward.”

The 23-year-old started his career at Houston Baptiste and moved to Western Kentucky last season, capitalizing on an additional year of eligibility after the 2020 COVID campaign shortened. Helping the team to a nine-win season, Zappe threw 62 touchdown passes, breaking the record The record for one season in Football Bowl Subdivision previously set by former LSU and current Cincinnati Bengals. Joe Borough.

Zappy said it was a dream come true to be inducted into the NFL. He said he looks forward to working with Jones.

“He’s a fantastic full-back, just like the rest of the QB members in that room. I’m really looking forward to learning from these three guys, meeting them, and doing everything I can to help the team. I’m really excited about this opportunity.”

Zappe is the eighth quarterback the Patriots has drafted since 2010, and tied them up with the New York Jets for the most in the NFL during that time, according to ESPN stats and information.