2023 NFL Draft: Will Levis slips to Day 2 as hype over Kentucky QB revealed as true prospect

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Daytime cameras can be cruel. As the first round of the 2023 NFL draft went up on Thursday night, those final green room shots had nothing else to do but focus on Kentucky quarterback Will Levis.

For the first time, two SEC quarterbacks — Alabama’s Bryce Young (No. 1 overall, Carolina Panthers) and Anthony Richardson (No. 4 overall, Indianapolis Colts) — were selected among the first four selections in draft. Ohio State’s CJ Stroud (No. 2 overall, Houston Texans) made three QBs in the top four.

But Levis? On Wednesday, he was surrounded by reporters when asked about a version of the media about a Reddit post saying he was going No. 1 to the Panthers. The hype surrounding the Penn State transfer had grown to that point.

Yeah, think about the store, but it makes it easy for Levis to drop out of the first round. From the lover’s social news forum to the loneliest in the green room. From a very interesting prospect to the next Aaron Rodgers (at least on draft night). If you remember, Rodgers fell in the first round 18 years ago, falling from a possible No. 1 overall pick to No. 24 when the Packers finally snapped him up.

In the end it all worked out for Rodgers. Levis? We have to see.

It’s lonely when 17 players get invited to the NFL Draft, three of those quarterbacks are taken within the first four picks and you’re the lone caller waiting on the couch .

Levis joined Kentucky as a guy who couldn’t beat Penn State’s Sean Clifford. Levis thrived with the Wildcats, throwing for over 5,000 yards and 43 touchdowns in two seasons.

(Some) of the scouts fell in love with his size (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) and his ability to run.

“Physically he’s so talented,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops told CBS Sports earlier Thursday. “The way he throws the ball, the way he runs, he’s got that command you’re looking for. He’s got all the answers. Like everybody here at the top, [he’s] ultra-competitive. There is no one who is going to work for him.”

Compared to the quarterbacks drafted in Round 1, Levis was clearly not that one on Thursday night.

It is called an indictment of the entire draft culture. You can teach a high-functioning horse to collect a false draft. You say something often enough, many people think it’s true.

Levis was a genius who was better than anyone thought… until he wasn’t.

We already know Young is Alabama’s best quarterback ever. He may be in the conversation as the greatest player of all time. His athleticism and instincts are almost Patrick Mahomes-esque.

Consider his value to the Crimson Tide when, on the same day Young was selected No. 1 overall, Notre Dame’s Tyler Buchner chose to transfer to Bama and battle for the starting job against Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson.

“That’s what Alabama is all about — competition,” Young said.

The Tide better that hope. For the first time in a long time, Alabama doesn’t have a clear difference maker at the position or maybe not even a useful game manager.

Stroud was very effective at Ohio State playing behind fellow first round pick Paris Johnson Jr. There were several questions about Richardson. Among them is accuracy, which is never good. However, it’s not enough to keep the Colts from taking him fourth overall.

“In the SEC, there were a bunch of bullies in that league,” Richardson said. “Playing against Bama, Georgia and Tennessee makes you a pro early.

Levis could say the same thing. He didn’t have the chance. About halfway through the first round,​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ (Lamar Jackson), Dallas Cowboys (Dak Prescott) and Jacksonville Jaguars (Trevor Lawrence) still on the clock in the first round.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen said Levis’ left toe was “difficult” for some teams with some thinking surgery may eventually be necessary. Levis disagreed, insisting that he is good to go.

Maybe that’s all it took to slip. Stroud had to endure reports of poor scores in S2 exams. Young had to answer questions about his height (5-foot-10) and weight (200 pounds). Heck, in his press conference after the draft, Richardson didn’t seem to recognize the name of his new coach (Frank Reich).

Some deficiencies can be overcome. Some last at least another day.

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