Will Levis tumbles out of the first round in the 2023 NFL Draft

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Levis falls all the way to Round 2 after being potential top-five pick

There weren’t a lot of people surprised that the Redditor who said Will Levis was telling friends and family he’d the No. 1 overall pick was wrong (he has since deleted his account). However, it sure seemed like there was a good chance that he could be taken at No. 2 by the Houston Texans, No. 4 by the Indianapolis Colts, or anywhere in the top 10 by a team that traded up for a quarterback.

 

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None of those things happened. CJ Stroud went No. 2 and Anthony Richardson went No. 4. Levis ultimately went undrafted in the first round and will now look to see where he lands on Friday night.

Levis fell into the laps of the Washington Commanders at No. 16 and they decided that Sam Howell was a better option than going with the Kentucky QB. At that point, the slide turned into a full-fledged freefall.

Why did Will Levis fall?

Even though Levis played in some NFL-style offenses in Lexington under former Rams assistant-turned Kentucky offensive coordinator-turned Rams OC-turned Kentucky OC again Liam Coen and longtime NFL assistant Rich Scangarello, the numbers never really stood out. Levis finished his college career with a 46/25 TD/INT ratio with a 54.9% completion rate and 5,876 yards as a two-year starter at Kentucky and a backup at Penn State.

Levis couldn’t beat out Sean Clifford to be the full-time starter in Happy Valley, which also should have been a sign. The measurables were certainly interesting at 6-foot-4 and 229 pounds with a big arm, but the tape seemed to scare a lot of talent evaluators and decision-makers away.

During the draft, ESPN kept repeatedly showing percentages from their “analytics” numbers regarding Levis, including a 1.1% chance he would be available at pick No. 20 and a 0.1% chance he’d be there at No. 25. ESPN Analytics reported a 92% chance that Levis would go in the top 10. He didn’t even go in the first round.

Chris Mortenson also reported concern about a toe injury.

Sportsbooks clean up on Levis props

Along with the aforementioned Reddit post that led to a lot of No. 1 overall steam, there were a lot of bets on Levis to go second or fourth. He was also favored to go No. 3 for a time. The Seahawks didn’t need a QB at No. 5, but they very easily could have traded back to add extra assets from a team looking for a signal caller.

None of those scenarios happened and the sportsbooks were sitting pretty as could be with all that Levis action that came in. Sure, there were other big hits, like those who got in on Young at plus money to be the No. 1 pick or those that rode Stroud all the way out to -2400 to go No. 2, but not all of that was betting action. A lot of that was moving on news and steam. Depending on the sportsbook, Levis’s draft position prop was mostly around 4.5 and he was -1500 to be a top-five pick.

Nobody cries for the sportsbooks, but it is fair to say that drafts are usually loss leaders for the book. They have to post odds on them and get tons of volume and action, so there are some benefits, even if the results usually leave operators in the red. This year’s draft, which had a lot of uncertainty because of its relative weakness to previous classes, seems to have worked out just fine for the house.

When does Will Levis get drafted?

Could the Los Angeles Rams be the landing spot at No. 36? Matthew Stafford’s long-term health is an enormous question mark and the Rams absolutely need to start thinking about the future at that position. Levis already ran the Rams offense in college under Coen during his junior year, which was the better of his two seasons as a Wildcat.

The first four picks in the second round belong to the Steelers, Cardinals, Lions, and Colts. None of those four teams will look to draft a QB. Perhaps a team like the Titans could trade up (hold No. 41) and be a player for Levis, as they allegedly had a lot of interest in moving up for Stroud if he made it past the Texans. Perhaps the Rams, who have two third-rounders, three fifth-rounders, and three sixth-rounders will try to move up and take Levis before anybody else can, but they are also just five picks into the second round.

That is the biggest story of Day 2 and one that our VSiN hosts are sure to talk about on Friday.

Which team will draft Will Levis?

Overnight, DraftKings Sportsbook put up odds on the team that will draft Will Levis. Here’s how they stand as of 7:30 a.m. PT:

  • LA Rams +350
  • Tennessee Titans +350
  • Las Vegas Raiders +800
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1400
  • Washington Commanders +1400
  • Seattle Seahawks +1400
  • Detroit Lions +1400
  • Minnesota Vikings +1500
  • All others +1600 or higher