Sunday, September 24 2023

The Tennessee Titans traded up for the No. 33 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft on Friday night to select Kentucky quarterback Will Levis.

Tennessee sent the No. 41 and No. 72 picks and its 2024 third-rounder to the Arizona Cardinals for No. 33 (Levis) and No. 81.

Levis started his college career at Penn State, where he backed up Sean Clifford from 2019-20. He transferred to Kentucky after the 2020 season and was its primary starter from 2021-22. Levis helped lead Kentucky to a 10-win season in 2021. This past season, Levis totaled 2,406 passing yards, 19 passing touchdowns, 10 interceptions and a 151.9 passer rating, completing 65.4% of his passes.

Bryce Young or Will Levis: Who will be the first QB taken in the 2023 NFL Draft? | THE HERD

Here’s what FOX Sports NFL Draft analyst Rob Rang had to say about Levis:

Overview: In as contentious a class of quarterbacks as I’ve ever seen in over 20 years as a scout, Levis is easily the most polarizing. Some evaluators project him as a top-five pick and others suggest his best fit in the NFL may ultimately be as a Taysom Hill-like weapon due to his size and strength as a runner. 

A three-star recruit out of Connecticut, Levis originally signed with Penn State and played in 15 games (albeit just two starts) over three years there, transferring as a graduate to Kentucky with just 644 passing yards and three touchdowns (through the air) to his credit during that time. Starring in Kentucky’s pro-style offense against mighty SEC competition the past two years has made Levis this year’s must-see senior quarterback prospect.

Strengths: Levis’ strong frame and dual-threat game power near-constant comparisons to Bills star Josh Allen. He is perceived by some as the most pro-ready quarterback in this class given that Kentucky’s offense was under the direction of different former NFL coaches the past two seasons, Liam Coen (2021), Rich Scangerello (2022). 


Levis is blessed with rare tools and complements them with a lightning-quick release and proven grit, having played through multiple injuries last season. His underwhelming production as a senior is understandable given significant NFL graduations, as well as the fact that Levis has worked with four different offensive coordinators over his college career. He’s expected to ace the interview process, boasting personality and intelligence. Earned his Bachelor’s degree (Finance) in three years and went on to his Master’s at Kentucky (also Finance).

Concerns: If Levis does, in fact, have a better feel for where to go with the ball than some of the others on this list, he isn’t as effective in getting it there accurately, showing less precision than his peers on downfield throws. Ironically, the snappy release which ranks as one of Levis’ greatest strengths also contributes to one of his weaknesses, as the short throwing stroke makes him more of a pusher than a passer on touch throws, and his accuracy wanes because of it. Perhaps most importantly, for a senior and one perceived to be pro-ready, Levis shows a troubling lack of awareness, leading defenders to the ball by staring down his primary target and taking big hits.

Bottom Line: Levis offers an undeniably compelling package of skills to work with but he isn’t the finished product that his traits and experience suggest. Some nagging injuries sustained in 2022 kept him from easing scouts’ concerns at the Senior Bowl, where the aforementioned Allen began his rapid ascent up draft boards a few years ago. 

Grade: First round

NFL Draft coverage from FOX Sports:

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Source: FOX Sports


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