GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 10: Florida Gators linebacker Amari Burney (2) sacks Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Will Levis (7) during the game between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Florida Gators on September 10, 2022 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field in Gainesville, Fl. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 10: Florida Gators linebacker Amari Burney (2) sacks Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Will Levis (7) during the game between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Florida Gators on September 10, 2022 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field in Gainesville, Fl. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Will Levis Is Overrated

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There is all this talk about Will Levis going in the first-round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

I can already tell I am going to be at odds with the national media about the Kentucky quarterback (QB).

Fox Sports, CBS, Sports Illustrated, The Athletic, USA Today Draft Wire, Bleacher Report, Walter Football, Pro Football Network, Pro Football Focus, The 33rd Team, The Sporting News and SB Nation all see Levis as a first-round talent.

Not me.

As a former NFL scout, I do not see him as a first, second, third or fourth-round draft pick.

There is no way in the world anybody can convince me that Levis is a first-round pick after what I watched on 2021 game film.

Don’t just take my word for it, Levis’ game film is embedded right into his evaluation below.

Judge for yourself.

Are there any positives about Levis?

Sure, there are positives.

In fact, there is a lot to like about Levis.

For starters, the former Penn State transfer brings a good tempo and rhythm to an offense.

Levis brings energy and passion.

Why is this important?

I compare QB’s to the drummer of a band. The tempo and rhythm a QB leads the offense with as they march or don’t march down the field is extremely important.

As the QB goes, so goes the team.

Did Kentucky’s offensive system cover-up Levis’ deficiencies?

There were a lot of runs and short passes called in Kentucky’s offense in 2021.

Just in terms of the run game alone, Kentucky ranked No. 65 in the nation in terms of passing the ball (teamrankings.com). They ran about as balanced of an attack as possible, passing the ball 50.40% of the time.

Don’t be surprised if Levis gets drafted by Kyle Shanahan or one of his disciples

On February 25 Kentucky hired Rich Scangarello as their new offensive coordinator.

Scangarello comes over from San Francisco where he was the 49ers’ QB’s coach in 2021.

This will likely put Levis on the radar of the 49ers and every team that has a Shanahan disciple now as their head coach.

That is how it works in the NFL. Teams like to go with ‘who they are familiar with,’ and there is no question, Shanahan and those who worked under him will get better pre-draft intel on Levis.

Can you imagine if Levis landed in San Francisco playing at Levi’s Stadium?

Can you imagine the endorsement deal?

Must just be a coincidence Kentucky hired the 49ers’ QB’s coach.

Keep Levis in perspective

It is important to keep the facts in front of us.

One of those facts is Levis’s interception ratio.

If you look at his full body of work, he had 27 TD and 15 INT over the course of his college career.

His TD/INT ratio through the first two games of the 2022 season is 4/2, which brings his career total to 31 TD and 17 INT.

#7 Will Levis 6-foot-3, 232 pounds

Daniel Kelly Grade: Fifth-Round – Early Fall 2022 Report

First Round Mock Big Board: QB14

Projected by 77.0% of the NFL Draft Community to be a first-round pick as of September 11, 2022 (nflmockdraftdatabase.com)

2021 game film reviewed: Georgia, South Carolina and Missouri (click to watch games viewed to form this evaluation).

Level of competition: High

2021 stats: 233/353 (66.0%) 2,826 (8.0 avg.), 24 TD, 13 INT.

NFL comparable: Heath Shuler

2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report:

Well-schooled and athletic with good arm strength, but raw looking as a downfield passer. Navigates the pocket well with poise and toughness, and has good ball handling/play-action skills. Can hesitate to throw, which causes him to bail or take sacks (2021: 22). Maintains downfield focus, but he is inconsistent going through his progressions. Looks good running (2021: 3.5 rush avg.). Throws an elementary route tree. Can 3/4 sidearm it. Not thrilled with short range placement. Best at the intermediate route level. Able to zip it in there, but also can finesse throws. Deep game leaves a lot to be desired. Tendency to overthrow. Had a fumble and tipped ball in this block of film. A positive is he keeps fighting back in games.

What to watch for in the 2022 college football season:

  1. Is he consistently going through his progressions?
  2. Does he hold the ball too long?
  3. Has his ball placement improved?
  4. How does his deep game look?

Levis looks like a developmental project who will need a lot of work to make it in the NFL.

Daniel Kelly is a former NFL Scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated New York Jets and he is the Editor-in-Chief for First Round Mock. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @firstroundmock.

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