Kentucky quarterback Will Levis could have made the decision to return to school for another season after playing sparingly in his first two collegiate campaigns with Penn State prior to transferring to the Wildcats.
That’s not going to happen. Seen as one of the top quarterback prospects heading into the 2023 NFL Draft next spring, Levis just announced that he’s entering the annual event and will turn pro.
A prototypical 6-foot-4 signal caller, Levis hasn’t necessarily upped his game in 2022 compared to the breakout performance he put up last season. Despite this, he’s seen as a toolsy prospect with a ton of upside. That includes a strong arm and elite velocity. His ability to throw down the field is going to be enticing for quarterback-needy teams.
Despite being a mere two-year starter in college, Levis brings pedigree with him to the 2023 NFL Draft. He was a three-star recruit back in 2018, the same class that brought Justin Fields and Trevor Lawrence to the collegiate ranks. Below, we look at three logical landing spots for the likely first-round pick.
Related: Sportsnaut’s updated NFL mock draft
Will Levis heads to the Seattle Seahawks
Let’s assume for a second that Alabama’s Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud of Ohio State are the first two quarterbacks off the board come April. If that is indeed the case, thing set up well for the Seattle Seahawks to use one of their two first-round picks on Levis.
As of right now, Pete Carroll’s squad boasts the No. 4 pick in the draft. It was acquired in the Russell Wilson blockbuster trade last spring. Talk about bamboozling the Broncos given that Geno Smith has outperformed Wilson this season.
As it stands, Smith is slated to become a free agent in March. Given his performance, he’s likely looking at $30-plus million annually. Is that something the retooling Seahawks are going to pay out for a player many consider to be a one-year wonder? Either way, these Hawks are going to add a quarterback early in the 2023 NFL Draft. Short of trading up for Young or Stroud, Levis makes the most sense.
Related: Ranking NFL QBs in 2022
Las Vegas Raiders add heir-apparent to Derek Carr
To say that things have not gone swimmingly for Derek Carr and the Raiders this season would be an understatement. Despite a two-game winning streak, Vegas finds itself at 4-7 on the campaign and completely out of the NFL Playoff race. There’s also rumors coming out of Sin City that the Raiders’ brass might release/trade Carr despite signing him to a contract extension last offseason.
Assuming head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler have come to the conclusion that Carr is not the quarterback of the future, Levis could make a lot of sense for the suddenly-rebuilding team.
- Will Levis stats (2021-22): 66% completion, 5,232 yards, 43 TD, 23 INT
Levis’ strong arm has to be considered a great fit in the Raiders’ offensive scheme under McDaniels. The presence of stud wide receiver Davante Adams adds another layer to this. Currently slated to pick No. 8 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft, Levis will be a target of the Raiders. Take that to the bank.
Related: Sportsnaut’s updated NFL power rankings
Indianapolis Colts solve QB issue by trading up for Will Levis
Indianapolis’ quarterback situation has been a hot mess since Andrew Luck’s abrupt retirement back in 2018. The Colts have opted to go the veteran retread route multiple times since, most recently acquiring a washed up Matt Ryan from the Atlanta Falcons last spring. This list also includes Philip Rivers and Carson Wentz. Yuck!
It’s now time for general manager Chris Ballard and Co. to buck this trend. Indy is currently slated to pick 14th overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. It would have to trade into the top 10 to pick up Will Levis. But this is a price the team should be willing to pay given what it exhausted on both Wentz and Ryan.