Since 2012, the primary spherical of the NFL Draft has averaged three quarterback alternatives. In this cycle, C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young are the favorites to be Nos. 1 and a pair of. With his scouting report, can Kentucky QB Will Levis lock down one other Round 1 spot within the 2023 NFL Draft?
Will Levis NFL draft profile
Levis’ profession monitor is completely different from that of most first-round QB prospects. The Kentucky QB was a 2018 recruit in the identical class as Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. And but, 2021 was his first season as a beginning signal-caller on the collegiate stage.
While different quarterbacks discovered speedy stardom, Levis took the longer street to prominence. Levis was a 4.0 scholar at Xavier in Connecticut and had presents from quite a few Ivy League colleges, together with Harvard, Princeton, Dartmouth, and Columbia. But Levis wished to pursue a D1 soccer profession and signed with Penn State as an alternative.
Three years handed. Levis redshirted in 2018 and began two video games whole by way of 2019 and 2020. At the top of that stretch, Levis transferred to Kentucky. And in Lexington, he lastly emerged as a reliable draft prospect.
Levis solely carried 102 profession makes an attempt into the 2021 season, however he picked issues up shortly. A crew captain his first 12 months at Kentucky, Levis collected 2,826 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions in 13 begins. He additionally added 376 yards and 9 scores on the bottom.
Now, Levis appears on to 2022, aiming to take the subsequent step.
- Position: Quarterback
- School: Kentucky
- Current Year: Redshirt Senior
- Height/Weight: 6’4, 230 kilos
Will Levis scouting report
Levis could be undrafted for his consuming habits. He eats bananas with the peel on, and he places mayonnaise in his espresso. But we’ll let all that slide. Because on the sector, he brings loads of expertise.
Levis has very thrilling instruments as a passer and a creator. The Kentucky QB stands at 6’4″, 230 kilos, with a powerful, dense body that may stand up to contact. And together with his body, Levis brings elite arm expertise to the fold. He generates elite velocity on throws with seen ease and has a fast, crisp 3/4 sidearm launch. His velocity carries effectively to all ranges of the sector and travels with immediacy within the brief and intermediate ranges.
Levis has a supremely robust arm — robust sufficient to generate excessive ranges of velocity even when off-platform and rolling towards his dominant facet. But past that, his arm can also be noticeably elastic. The Kentucky QB could be very pure and cozy throwing from completely different arm angles, and he can generate excessive ranges of velocity from numerous arm angles. He’s capable of throw with tempo and accuracy off-platform, and he can right incongruent mechanics together with his arm expertise.
Levis doesn’t simply have high-end arm expertise, both. He’s a reliable athlete with potential 4.6 velocity at his dimension. He reveals nice burst and velocity within the open subject and has sufficient agility to make single cuts. The bodily edge Levis performs with as a runner is much more attractive. For a QB, he breaks tackles with extra consistency than anticipated. He performs robust within the pocket, churns his legs by way of deal with makes an attempt, and regularly extends performs together with his body, play power, and athleticism.
Levis’ arm expertise is a central a part of his recreation, however he’s additionally proficient at correctly channeling that arm expertise with robust mechanics. Levis persistently will get glorious hip rotation on his throws, which permits him to generate most velocity. He’s additionally proven he can keep in section together with his base, hold his ft energetic, and place his entrance foot correctly for placement and rotation. Moreover, he regularly retains his shoulders stage on launch, and he may hold his shoulders stage off-platform.
Not solely does Levis have good mechanics, however he may actively manipulate his mechanics to affect ball placement. He can alter his shoulder alignment situationally to control the trajectory of his throws — an inclination that reveals up most frequently on seam routes and boundary fades. On these throws, he can combine velocity and contact to arc the ball into small home windows. In an analogous vein, Levis has proven he can lead WRs low in tight conditions to reduce the specter of contact and disruption.
There are lapses with precision at occasions from Levis, which we’ll get to later. But general, he’s underrated together with his normal accuracy. He persistently throws throughout the WR’s wheelhouse and doesn’t typically throw uncatchable balls. He’s a dependable rhythm passer with snappy lower-body mechanics off the snap, and he can lead receivers for run-after-catch yards with nice velocity within the brief vary. And over the center of the sector, he has displayed the power to steer into house, away from contact.
Processing and subject imaginative and prescient are areas the place Levis can enhance. But even there, the Kentucky QB has proven glimpses of promise. Levis flashes the power to anticipate home windows and undergo development work. He’s additionally proven he can learn defender spacing pre-snap and establish favorable matchups primarily based on route ideas.
While there have been a whole lot of rhythm and timing throws in 2021, Levis did undergo hi-to-low reads from time to time, and he has the capability to course of and progress by way of choices shortly. In choose conditions, significantly towards zone protection, Levis displayed the wherewithal to attend forward of his launch to let overlapping route ideas play out and neutralize the specter of an beneath defender.
Levis’ work within the pocket serves as a sturdy basis for his passing manufacturing. The Kentucky QB senses stress effectively, and he’s typically fast to detect penetrating rushers and step into lanes to keep away from contact. He’s proven he can handle house within the pocket to purchase himself extra time. While he may be skittish at occasions, there are superior glimpses of poise within the pocket. Levis reveals the stability to face in because the pocket condenses. He steps ahead into tightening lanes and delivers throws amidst direct contact.
Among different issues, Levis typically retains his eyes ahead on the dropback to carry safeties, and he’s proven he can use refined bursts of eye manipulation to open up the sector. Additionally, he’s keen to throw the ball away when performs collapse and nothing is there. On the bottom, Levis is a supremely powerful competitor who fights to remain on his ft and acquire further yards. In each phases, there are particular clutch moments on tape. More than as soon as, Levis delivered in late-down, high-distance conditions in 2021.
Levis’ areas for enchancment
Right now, essentially the most urgent concern with Levis is his inconsistent subject imaginative and prescient and anticipation. The Kentucky QB can do a greater job anticipating general. He typically experiences slight delays earlier than throwing and loses time ready a bit longer for breaks. His set off could be a bit late, and his lack of anticipation offers defenders extra time to shut in, reduce RAC, or make performs on the ball.
Levis generally locks onto WRs pre-snap and can prematurely decide to routes even. He stares down his main receiver at occasions, inviting defenders to shut in early together with his eyes. His subject imaginative and prescient is questionable at occasions. He generally misses open receivers and sometimes forces intermediate and deep throws with defenders looming. Levis is efficient off play-action and on timing throws, however he can accrue extra expertise with full-field reads.
As a thrower, Levis may be extra exact at occasions. Especially over the center, he generally fails to steer receivers and forces high-difficulty changes in congested areas. He’s nonetheless studying to combine velocity and contact, and he generally places an excessive amount of warmth and too little loft on passes. His launch is quick however may be concave at occasions, pushing passes excessive consequently.
Elsewhere, Levis’ stress detection can fluctuate each methods. He may be spooked into prematurely dropping his eyes and working. Conversely, he sometimes has lapses in stress detection and takes onerous hits on the blind facet. He may be rushed into making non-ideal selections by stress and generally fades again as he throws, eroding his mechanics.
Lastly, whereas Levis’ toughness as a runner is interesting, he has room to raised protect himself on the bottom.
Current draft projection for Kentucky QB Will Levis
Levis is a polarizing prospect on the QB place. But after re-evaluating his most up-to-date tape, I really feel he’s worthy of Round 1 capital. And with a 12 months of enchancment, he may work himself into the early first-round vary. Levis has high-end bodily instruments. And whereas he has room for additional refinement, there are shiny flashes on the operational facet.
Levis graded on the Day 1-Day 2 boundary for me, however the positional worth at quarterback and his corresponding upside raise him into the first-round dialog. Levis checks virtually all of the packing containers with regards to the unteachable traits. He’s a powerful participant each inside and outdoors the pocket, with a compact 6’4″, 230-pound body. He’s an awesome athlete with good velocity, burst, and flashes of one-cut elusiveness. And his arm can generate elite ranges of velocity from completely different angles.
Levis has a transparent path to enchancment in 2022, however will probably be simpler stated than performed. He has to turn out to be far more constant studying the sector and anticipating home windows, and he must extra persistently lead receivers successfully, particularly over the center of the sector. But because it stands, he has good mechanics and pocket administration, his accuracy is much from a legal responsibility, and he does present flashes of anticipation to construct on.
Taking Levis’ potential for development under consideration, his secure, unteachable traits stay exhilarating. Levis is an athletic, resilient, and supremely gifted passer, with the high-end attributes to buoy a franchise-caliber ceiling as he positive factors extra beginning expertise.