Why the New York Jets could pick Kentucky QB Will Levis in the 2023 NFL Draft
It’s never too early to start looking at prospects for the 2023 NFL Draft, which brings us to Kentucky’s Will Levis.
Could the Jets have a particular interest in this Wildcats quarterback?
Yes, this is a distinct possibility for the following reasons:
- Jets QB Zach Wilson starts performing in 2022.
- Mike White and Joe Flacco, replacement QB for the Jets, only have one-year contracts.
- Kentucky offensive coordinator Rich Scargarello.
What does Kentucky’s offensive coordinator have to do with the Jets?
He was on the coaching staff of 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.
Scangarello was on the same staff as Jets head coach Robert Saleh from 2017 to 2018, when Saleh was the 49ers’ defensive coordinator.
Why is this relevant?
That’s how the NFL works.
Chances are Levis will end up being drafted by the 49ers, Dolphins or Jets.
The obvious connection to the 49ers is Shanahan. The connection to the Dolphins is their new head coach Mike McDaniel, who also comes from Shanahan’s staff.
With Saleh’s connection to Shanahan and Scargarello, chances are Levis will end up in New York.
Flacco is getting long in the tooth and White will be looking for the path of least resistance for a chance to start.
Scroll to continue
That could leave the Jets in position to draft Levis.
Levis has characteristics that match Shanahan’s offensive system which relies on a solid running game and throws primarily in the short-to-middle range.
Although Levis’ short game isn’t up to snuff, his strength kicks in at the middle road tier and Kentucky has a good running game.
Like I said, it’s never too early to start talking about next year’s prospects because Levis already has a consensus first-round rating throughout the NFL Draft community.
I’m actually late to the party. According to the NFL Draft Database, Levis should go:
No. 2 at the Falcons (FOX)
No. 3 at Lions (CBS)
No. 5 at the Colts (Pro Football Network)
No. 9 at the Giants (Draft Wire)
No. 17 at Seahawks (Walter Football)
As someone who worked on the staff in New York with Mr. Dick Haley, who drafted legendary QB Terry Bradshaw with Pittsburgh, I’m nowhere near that high on Levis.
I’m not even in the same zip code.
Former Jets scout not impressed with Kentucky QB Will Levis
Ranking of Will Levis
6 feet 3 inches, 232 pounds
Kentucky 2021 Game Movie Review: Georgia, South Carolina, and Missouri
2021 stats: 233/353, 66.0%, 2,826 yards, 24 TDs, 13 INTs.
Grade: 5-7 Round
Comparable NFL: A cross between Heath Shuler and Sean Salisbury
Note: Transfer from Penn State to Kentucky (2021)
Well-schooled QB system that brings good pace, tempo, energy with a good arm, but has a lot of gaps on the court that have been covered by a heavy offense. In passing situations, it looked slick in the pocket. Sturdy and poised. Able to slide and has good fake action play. Remain steadfast and focused on the pitch. Has an NFL-caliber arm and can also tweak it when needed. He has enough mobility to be able to take off and run and still look good doing it. Ball placement is better at the intermediate level. The short and deep game leaves a lot to be desired in terms of placement. Can’t touch the wide side of a deep barn. Showed a tendency to hold the ball too long in the pocket and take sacks. Too hesitant to pull the trigger sometimes. Launch an elemental road tree. He looks raw as a field passer. Flashed 3/4 sidearm release. Will need a lot of next level work to do. Development project. Career save type at best. No winning starting material.
I love that Levis never gave up and kept fighting Georgia all the way. I also liked when I saw him get visibly upset.
However, nothing impressed me about Levis.
There is nothing elitist about him.
There’s nothing special about his domestic stats coupled with what he put on the game’s film.
Levis is another one of those well-trained classic QBs who will shine on pro days and any drill.
That’s great, but it takes more than that. Much more than that.