John Schneider and co. have stated multiple times that they would like to bring Geno Smith back for the 2023 season. And whilst it seems more than likely Geno will be back for the ‘23 season there are no certainties in the NFL, so it is possible the fan favorite signal caller is playing elsewhere next season. However, even if he returns to Seattle, he is likely not the long-term answer at quarterback. Because of that the Seattle Seahawks need to find their QB of the future this offseason whilst they have the draft ammunition to do so. Luckily for them this is a draft with multiple quarterbacks who are projected to go in the top-10. We have already covered two of them—Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud. In this article we are going to cover the third one in Kentucky’s Will Levis.
Height 6’4 - Weight 230
Games watched - 2022 Florida, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Miami (OH)
- His best attribute in the passing game is the clutch factor that he brings with him. Levis seems to become a better passer on key downs, especially late in games.
- Levis is coming from a pro-style system at Kentucky, so he has a lot more under center, back to the basket play-action experience than most quarterbacks coming out of college. On play-action plays where Levis turns his back to the defense, he does not look uncomfortable when he gets his eyes back around. He remains poised throughout the play going right to his first read with his eyes and more often than not delivering an accurate ball to that read. If his first option is taken away, he does not get panicky, and works through his progressions and looks for the open receiver.
- When on the move in play-action his accuracy and his arm strength do not suffer as he has the ability to make throws from all platforms.
- Levis displays relatively good anticipation against zone coverage, understanding which windows to throw the ball in and when to throw it in order to hit the receiver as they enter those windows. Levis has the necessary arm strength to make these tight window throws, especially in the red zone when things get even more congested.
- Levis does a great job against zone in knowing where to progress to and how to use his eyes to manipulate and hold defenders to allow his receivers to get more separation. He also shows a great understanding of where his checkdown receivers are against zone coverage and when to progress to them.
- He always keeps two hands on the football in the pocket to help prevent fumbles.
- Levis does a good job of understanding when it is time to give up on a play by either throwing it away or eating a sack if he has pressure in his face.
- Levis brings a threat in the running game with his size and athleticism.
- On play-action rollouts, Levis does look a little trigger shy to make throws on the run despite possessing the ability to do so.
- In the non-play-action short and intermediate passing game Levis needs to significantly clean up his accuracy. There were far too many instances in which Levis threw a ball too high, put it on the wrong shoulder or missed the receiver all together.
- His deep ball needs work as they almost always hung up in the air, allowing defensive backs who were beaten to make up ground and make a play on the ball. His ball placement on most of his deep balls was also disappointing as they often did not lead the receiver, or they floated too close to the sideline. This is partially a by-product of him being a bit lazy on deep balls as he does not step into them, instead just flinging them with his arm.
- Levis’ upper and lower half have a tendency to get a bit out of sync which is especially prevalent on his deep and intermediate passes, which results in multiple inaccurate balls.
- There were far too many instances in both the short and intermediate game in which Levis would wait until the receiver was out of their break to start his throwing motion on rhythm throws. This resulted in multiple incompletions and passes that should have had big YAC turning into catches with little to no YAC.
- He does not always know his exit points in the pocket as there are times, he steps up into pressure rather than sliding into one spot. He had moments where he would duck or slide against phantom pressure.
Floor/ceiling - Levis’ size, athleticism, football intelligence (FBI), ability to make anticipation throws, play-action success and comfort against zone coverage give him the ceiling of a high-end starting quarterback, although his struggles against the blitz, questionable lower half/upper half sync and inconsistent 15-and-in accuracy gives him the floor of a circumstantial starter.
Grade - Win with starter - Late first/early second
I more than understand it is almost a given Levis goes in the top 10 if not the top 5 at this point in the draft cycle. Honestly as it draws closer, I think it is more than possible that substantial buzz grows about him being the first quarterback off of the board. Levis has all of the intangibles you’d want in a quarterback, he has the size, toughness, clutch gene, FBI and leadership. However, he has multiple negatives that need to be cleaned that are going to be overlooked because of those intangibles. As discussed above his accuracy is good at best and he gets way too antsy against the blitz. I think Levis has a strong shot at becoming a long-term starter in the league, but I struggle to give him a top of the draft grade because there is simply not enough consistency in his overall game.