Will Levis's Case for QB1 in 2023

Getty Images/via thoroughbreddailynews.com

Will Levis's Case for QB1 in 2023

Football

Will Levis's Case for QB1 in 2023

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(Getty Images)/via thoroughbreddailynews.com

The 2023 Quarterback draft class is shaping up to be much deeper than the 2022 class. Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud headline the group while players like Phil Jurkovec, Tyler Van Dyke, Grayson McCall, and Jake Haener are pushing for First-Round consideration. 

Yet Kentucky quarterback, Will Levis, isn’t just pushing to have his name called in the first-round. He’s vying to be in the conversation for QB1. 

 

From Transfer Portal to First-Round Talent 

Following two seasons as a backup for the Nittany Lions, Will Levis transferred from Penn State to the University of Kentucky prior to the 2021 season. He immediately assumed the starting role for the Wildcats and hit the ground running. 

Over the course of 13 games, Levis completed 66% of his passes for 2,826 yards, 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in Kentucky’s run-heavy offense. Levis needed the first few games to shake off the rust, but once he found his footing, he never looked back. With only Wan’Dale Robinson truly contributing in the passing offense, Levis made do with his situation and helped the Wildcats to a New Year’s Six Bowl victory over Iowa. 

One of his most impressive games came against the daunting Georgia Bulldogs. Most of Kentucky’s game plan revolved around screens and short passing concepts, but when they let Levis cook, good things usually happened. While under immense pressure, Levis completed 76.2% of his throws for 192 yards and two touchdowns. Some of his most impressive throws against the Bulldogs were incompletions though, at no fault to Levis. 

 

 

Scouting Report

When you first turn on the tape, you immediately notice Levis’s size and frame. Listed at 6’3”, 232 pounds, Levis has the ideal size for quarterbacks in today’s NFL. Because of his frame, Levis isn’t afraid to stand tall and deliver a pass against pressure and will look to run over a defender if they get in his way. 

Next-level arm talent is the name of the game for Levis. During the aforementioned Georgia game, Levis made some tight window throws against one of the top college defenses of all-time. He’s not afraid to make an opposite hash-to-sideline throw and trusts his arm to get the job done at all levels of the field. 

Levis is also tough to bring down in the open field. When he takes off, Levis isn’t afraid to take a hit to gain the extra yard. He’s not the most athletic quarterback you’ll find, but it’s enough to make defenses respect his rushing ability on any given down. 

He does have some downfalls that teams will need to see improve during the 2022 season. First off, Levis’s accuracy leaves something to be desired, especially on vertical routes. He threw 13 interceptions during the 2021 season, mostly due to a combination of bad decision making and inaccurate throws. 

Pocket presence is another key aspect that Levis should look to refine this year. While Kentucky’s offensive line was subpar in terms of SEC-caliber play, Levis could have found ways to manage pressure better. Over 13 games, Levis took 22 sacks, including six in the bowl game versus Iowa. 

 

The Next Josh Allen?

The odds of Will Levis turning into a perennial All-Pro caliber quarterback are small, but he certainly has all the traits to do it. A lot of his game looks and feels like Josh Allen’s during his time at Wyoming. Both are big, strong-armed quarterbacks who aren’t afraid to sling it and are mobile enough to pick up yards when needed. 

However, time is against Will Levis. Josh Allen was 21 when he was drafted in 2018 and had the opportunity to develop more during his time in the NFL. Levis on the other hand will be 24 during his rookie season in the NFL, which means he’ll most likely be closer to his ceiling. 

Will Levis has every tool a coach would want in a franchise quarterback: size, arm strength, and mobility. The 2022 season gives Levis a platform to propel his name even further up draft boards. If he can fine-tune his accuracy and decision making, his stock could skyrocket ahead of both Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud to claim the QB1 title. 

 

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