Will Levis

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Will Levis is the next Josh Allen. Same dynamic arm. Same ability to scramble.

Levis showed the same competitive zest at the University of Kentucky that Allen displayed at Wyoming.

No, no, no. You got it all wrong, buster. Will Levis is the next Josh Rosen.

Who's Josh Rosen?


Rosen is the former UCLA quarterback who was taken 22 spots ahead of Lamar Jackson in the 2018 NFL Draft. Rosen has completed two passes since the 2019 NFL season.

Let the record show that Rosen played his way out of the league by throwing 21 interceptions and 12 touchdowns in less than three full seasons.

For that spectacular performance, Rosen earned more than $5.7 million from the five NFL franchises that hoped he could be the The Next Great Thing, starting with Arizona, the team that shrewdly invested the No. 10 overall pick on Rosen.

Here we go again. We're closing in on another edition of the most overhyped, overblown and over-analyzed event on the American sports calendar: the NFL Draft. Once upon a time, there was one Mel Kiper. Now there Kipers everywhere — TV, talk radio, Twitter, gasoline pump monitors.

There is not a more divisive name on the Big Board (or little board) than Levis, the UK starter the last two seasons.

Will Brinson of CBSSports.com ignited the latest round of Levis love Thursday afternoon by predicting Levis will be the first overall pick by the Carolina Panthers. That would put him in a club with Trevor Lawrence, Joe Burrow and Peyton Manning.

The guy sitting across the room shaking his head at that call is long-time NFL sage Peter King. In a column at ProFootballTalk, King discussed the four quarterbacks who have been highlighted as likely first-round picks.

King wrote that he talked to two analysts and one NFL coach about Levis, C.J. Stroud of Ohio State, Bryce Young of Alabama and Anthony Richardson of Florida.

The verdict from Todd McShay of ESPN and Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network was Levis was the fourth-best quarterback in the group. But the coach, granted anonymity by King, was considerably less gaga about Levis. He assigned him a second-round grade.

I've never worked for Vince Lombardi but my read from those two posts is that Levis could be picked No. 1 — or No. 33.

What do I think?

I think Stroud is the best quarterback prospect in the draft. He’s a poised and accurate passer who showed the ability to make plays when he was surrounded by turmoil.

His performance against Georgia in the college football playoff semifinals was a masterpiece. Stroud threw for 348 yards and four touchdowns without an interception.

Only one other quarterback had three touchdowns passes against the national champion Bulldogs. And in 13 of its 15 games, Georgia allowed one or fewer TD passes.

Young enjoyed all the advantages that an Alabama quarterback typically enjoys. But Young was highly efficient, ringing up 79 TD passes with only 12 picks the last two seasons.

There weren’t many moments when Levis looked like the best college quarterback on the planet the last two seasons. Over his UK career, he threw at least one interception in 17 of 24 games.

He didn’t have the surrounding cast that Stroud had at Ohio State or Young enjoyed at Alabama. But there were too many moments when Levis played with a reckless aggressiveness.

He’s got better credentials than Richardson, but there’s a lot you have to overlook to believe Levis will be an NFL star.

But I’m guessing, just like NFL teams are guessing.

NFL teams burn millions of dollars on interviews, combines, scouting trips and film analysis, and, in the end, they’re still just crossing their fingers and hoping for the best.

Mostly, they're hoping to avoid over-paying the next Baker Mayfield, Jared Goff or JaMarcus Russell, all members of the overall No. 1 draft pick club since 2007.

At this point, the only certainties about Levis are he is one of 17 players invited to attend the NFL Draft April 27 in Kansas City. This week, Levis interviewed with Tampa Bay (to become Tom Brady's replacement, a daunting thought) and the Atlanta Falcons (currently anticipating former St. Xavier star Desmond Ridder to be their starting quarterback as a second-year pro).

Other than that ...

There was a report the Las Vegas Raiders intend to trade up so they can select Levis ... unless the Indianapolis Colts decide to take him with the fourth overall pick ... unless teams are scared away by Chris Mortenson’s report that an NFL executive called Levis "a narcissist," for posting pictures of his body on Twitter ... unless the New York Jets select Levis and give him a season or two to develop behind Aaron Rodgers.

Only 13 more days of this wonderful and silly stuff.

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