When the 2023 NFL Draft arrives next spring in Kansas City, franchises within the top-10 picks will be locked-in on quarterback prospects Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud, who are currently favorites to capture the prized Heisman Trophy. But early mocks from reputable pundits have another player in the running for first quarterback off the board. And just like Young, he'll be taking snaps in the SEC this coming fall, for a consensus top-25 program.
The NFL's quarterback-needy teams will certainly be paying close attention to Will Levis, who's entering the campaign as Kentucky's starter. The 23-year-old transfer from Penn State played 13 games for the Wildcats last season, and he completed 66-percent of his passes for 2,826 yards with 24 touchdowns and 13 picks. Last month, CBS Sports NFL draft analyst Chris Trapasso pegged him as the 2023 top-overall pick, to the lowly Houston Texans. And although Levis' stock will fluctuate for the next 10 months, he's generated considerable buzz.
"It's all about traits. And sometimes, we can overhype some of these QB's as they're entering their final college seasons," Trapasso told Maggie and Perloff on Wednesday. "And when I watched Will Levis last season -- even though his numbers weren't as gaudy as Stroud's or Young's -- I saw big-time throw after big-time throw. Through tight windows in the SEC against Georgia and Florida. Against quality defenses that had a lot of future NFL players on them.
"He's got the size and athleticism. The running ability every team wants at the quarterback position. It was a little bit of a projection, for sure. But, I think if you're looking at the quarterbacks not by their statistics, but by the physical, athletic, and arm-talent traits, Levis is right there, with the kind of consensus top QB's, in Young and Stroud... Young gives you more improvisational ability. But Stroud's the better, more classic, traditional pocket-passer, at this point."
The entire NFL Draft conversation between Trapasso and Maggie and Perloff can be accessed in the audio player above.