Kentucky quarterback Will Levis’ falling draft stock may land him on the Minnesota Vikings.
As it turns out, Will Levis’ NFL Draft stock appears to have been grossly overstated to begin with.
In Peter King’s latest Football Morning in America column, he spoke with ESPN’s Todd McShay, The NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah and an anonymous coach. While McShay and Jeremiah have Levis as QB4 on their big boards, the coach has a second-round grade on the former Kentucky starter. Levis could have gone as high as No. 4 to the Indianapolis Colts, but his stock is tanking.
With an interesting personality and a bit of arrogance, Levis was supposedly bombing interviews.
However, this may actually be a blessing in disguise for him. In Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports’ latest mock draft, he has Levis falling all the way to the Minnesota Vikings picking at No. 23. While he is still the fourth quarterback taken, Wilson has Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and Florida’s Anthony Richardson going one, two, three. Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker will go day two.
Vikings fans may not love the pick, but Levis could be a better-than-advertised heir apparent to Kirk Cousins if his time in The Twin Cities is coming to an end soon.
Let’s discuss the validity of Levis’ much-anticipated fall and if the Vikings are a great spot for him.
NFL Draft rumors: Will Levis’ stock is falling, possibly to the Minnesota Vikings
There may not be a more polarizing quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft than Levis. I don’t take that lightly, and neither should you. To be fair, no quarterback prospect is seen as absolutely perfect. Bryce Young is short. C.J. Stroud doesn’t win big games. Anthony Richardson is so raw. Stetson Bennett IV is old. Hendon Hooker is old and coming off an injury. See, you can do it with everyone!
Where I think it gets a little dicey with Levis is he regressed massively in his final year at Kentucky. Losing his former offensive coordinator Liam Coen to the Los Angeles Rams, only for him to return to Lexington as soon as Levis decided to turn pro is either telling or a coincidence. I don’t believe in coincidences. Whether it is weird food habits or not beating out Sean Clifford at Penn State, I get it.
However, I do recognize Levis’ athletic talents. He may be too aloof to get it at the professional level, but he has a chance of being a better professional version of Jay Cutler. Not to say he can achieve the zenith of that comp, which is Aaron Rodgers, but I think you can win a lot of games with Levis’ power arm playing for an offensive-minded head coach who believes in him wholly.
With Cousins in the back-end of his prime, he could fall off a cliff physically in short order. Cousins takes phenomenal care of himself, but he is not the biggest guy to begin with. Factor in the Vikings being in the NFC North where they have to play the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers outside, you can understand the appeal of drafting a quarterback prospect with Levis’ arm talent.
Truth be told, it is not easy winning games in Kentucky. Mark Stoops is a fantastic head coach, but he favors the defensive side of the ball. Plus, you play in the same division as Georgia, Florida and Tennessee, so good luck with that. Not all college programs are created equally, but Kentucky was consistently strong with Levis running its offense. This is why he is worthy of taking a chance on.
If the Vikings were to draft Levis late, it would signify that the Minnesota brass has tabbed him to be the 2024 starter and heading towards and honest rebuild. Again, Levis is not going to set the NFL world on fire with his play right from the jump. However, I think the athleticism is there to where he could be the Vikings’ version of Josh Allen or Jalen Hurts. You have to let it bake, man…
Overall, there is a strong possibility Levis is not taken inside of the top 10. He is definitely going in the first round though, as will Hooker to make it five quarterbacks in the top 31. The reason for this is to afford the team who drafts him another potential year of control in the fifth-year option. As long as Levis does not flame out of the league, he could play up to his potential by year three.
While he may not have the cannon of Jeff George (no one does), Levis may not be that mercurial.