Kentucky quarterback Will Levis is one of the best QB prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft and should be off the board within the first 10 picks. With that as the most likely Will Levis NFL draft outcome, here is why the former Kentucky football signal-caller is a great fit for teams like the Carolina Panthers, Las Vegas Raiders, and Seattle Seahawks.
Las Vegas Raiders
The Las Vegas Raiders head into the 2023 NFL Draft with the No. 7 overall pick. The team is veteran-heavy with a lot of big-name stars on offense, and the strategy for next season is still up in the air.
Vegas could replace Derek Carr with a veteran in a trade like Aaron Rodgers. If the Raiders do go this route, it will likely include giving up their first-round pick this year.
However, head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler could decide to sign a shorter-term vet like Jimmy Garoppolo and draft the team’s QB of the future. In that case, Will Levis would be a great pick.
The Kentucky Wildcats football star likely isn’t a Week 1 starter in the NFL. So having a veteran QB on a team with real expectations is a must. That said, if Levis does prove he is ready to start in his rookie year, there is no more talented team at the top of the draft he can do it with than the Raiders.
Having Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow, and Darren Waller at his disposal as a rookie could set Levis up for instants success and even put him in a position to join players like Ben Roethlisberger and Russell Wilson, who won an NFL title in their second years in the league.
While a Will Levis NFL draft scenario that puts him on the Raiders would likely lead to him sitting for a year, joining the Seahawks would definitely put him on the bench for at least the beginning of the season. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing for the Kentucky football signal-caller.
After a playoff year in 2022, the Seahawks have a bonus top-five draft pick thanks to the Russell Wilson trade last offseason. With the young talent the franchise is amassing, it might be a while before they pick this high again, which is why taking a QB at No. 5 in the 2023 NFL Draft makes a lot of sense.
Levis would sit behind Geno Smith to start the year, but after that, he would be on a team with DK Metcalf on the team for the foreseeable future, Kenneth Walker III behind him at running back, and a line in front of him that started two excellent rookie tackles (Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas) last season.
Seattle is set up for long-term success as long as they get a young QB to take the reigns from Smith in the next two seasons. In Will Levis, the team will get a quarterback with the athleticism of a young Wilson with better size and (seemingly) better leadership skills, as he demonstrated while playing Kentucky football.
Draft experts have compared Levis favorably to Josh Allen and Justin Herbert, two QBs who are the faces of their franchises, just like Levis could be for the Seahawks.
For those who believe that the best way to develop a rookie QB is to throw him out there in Year 1, a Will Levis NFL Draft marriage of the Kentucky football QB and the Panthers would be the best fit.
The Panthers currently own the No. 9 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, so Levis would have to slide past the Seahawks, Raiders, and Detroit Lions to get to the Panthers. Or, Carolina could trade up to take their guy. The latter scenario wouldn’t be surprising with owner David Tepper’s aggressive streak.
With the Panthers, Will Levis would have the best chance to start Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season as a team with no viable QB currently on the roster and no real expectations heading into 2023.
But just because the Panthers have a top-10 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft doesn’t mean the roster is devoid of talent. The offensive side of the ball features the criminally underrated D.J. Moore, possibly running back D'Onta Foreman if he re-signs, and a solid offensive line that includes last year’s No. 6 overall NFL draft pick, Ikem Ekwonu.
Plus, the new Panthers head coach, Frank Reich, is a quarterback guru who helped develop Carson Wentz (when he was good) and won a Super Bowl with Nick Foles. Reich would be a perfect coach to get the best out of Will Levis.