The NFL Draft is behind us, rookie drafts are taking place, and as dynasty managers, we are looking ahead to the upcoming season. In our Dynasty Rookie Post-Draft Update series, we break down all the incoming fantasy-relevant rookies, looking at their profiles and where they fit. The basis of the rookie profile involves the usage of STORM analysis, focusing on five key components: Situation, Talent, Opportunity, Risk, and Market.
Name: Will Levis
Pro Team: Tennessee Titans
College Team: Kentucky
Draft Status: Round two, Pick 33 overall.
Will Levis was the entertainment in the first round of the NFL Draft. Every year viewers tune in to watch a player sit in the green room and wait awkwardly for their name to be called, only to see themselves fall out of the first round entirely.
For the 2023 NFL Draft, Levis provided that drama. At one point, the star Kentucky quarterback was projected to go in the top ten, as high as number four at one point. He slipped clear out of the first round.
Rumors swirled that multiple teams attempted to trade back into the late first round to try and scoop him up, but the cost was too high. In the end, the Tennessee Titans drafted Levis at the beginning of the second round.
While he does not technically have day-one draft capital, I view him as a day-one pick. He went off the board in the first two picks of round two and would have gone in the late first round if a trade were more plausible.
Levis goes to a good landing spot in Tennessee. This team is at the crossroads of a rebuild, and Ryan Tannehill’s time as a starter is rapidly drawing to a close. Reports out of Tennessee indicate that Tannehill will serve as the starting quarterback in 2023, but that could change at a moment’s notice. Whether Tannehill is traded or the Titans simply choose to transition to Levis midseason, his chance to be a starting quarterback in the NFL is coming sooner than later.
The Titans offense does not project to be elite, and much of the fantasy production will fall to Derrick Henry, but if the Titans also choose to move on from Henry, Levis could find himself at the helm of a young and emerging offense.
Second-year players such as Treylon Burks, Kyle Philips, and Chigoziem Okonkwo could all take the next step and form a formidable offense.
Will Levis Combine Results:
Height: 6′ 4″
Weight: 229 lbs
Hand: 10 5/8″
40-Yard Dash: 4.72 seconds
10-Yard Split: Did Not Participate
Vertical Jump: 35.5″
Broad Jump: 10’4″
3-Cone Drill: Did Not Participate
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.10 seconds
Bench Press: Did Not Participate
While there are many holes in the raw skillset of Levis, he is the rookie quarterback who has the profile most like that of a Prototypical Quarterback. Simply put, he is a beast. He is a big, strong, tough quarterback and could evolve into a bruising dual-threat quarterback like Josh Allen. While I do not project him to be that level of a fantasy asset, he could certainly prove to be the poor man’s version of Allen.
As he made apparent on his social media accounts, Levis is a perfect physical specimen with monstrous hands and arms. Levis is so chiseled that it was rumored to have affected his draft stock, as teams thought he was too strong to develop the necessary touch at quarterback.
He showed plenty of explosion during his limited participation in the pre-draft process. His broad jump was 95th percentile, while his vertical jump was 79th percentile. As stated above, his hands checked in at the 96th percentile.
Many analysts and experts are lower on Levis, but I genuinely believe. In this draft class, there simply is not another quarterback that profiles more as a big, strong pocket passer. If he can improve his accuracy and add in a solid rushing floor with his strength and mobility, then a top-five quarterback finish is well within the range of outcomes.
The opportunity may not come immediately, but at some point in the next two years, Will Levis will get his chance to be the Tennessee Titans franchise quarterback. As a rookie, 4for4.com has him listed as the backup quarterback on the depth chart, and that is where he will probably stay for his rookie season.
At some point in 2023, the Titans will trade Ryan Tannehill or move him to the bench to see what they have in Levis; the time to buy low is between now and then. Once he finds his way into the Titans starting job, the buy-low window will have closed, and his fantasy price will skyrocket.
Levis is a polarizing player among fantasy managers and NFL teams. Half love him, and half hate him. He is a valuable player to acquire in the season’s opening weeks when he is functioning as a backup. The time on the bench could serve as a long-term benefit for him as he could use some time to learn behind the veteran before taking over. The Titans offense will go through some rough times before eventually finding its way, but at some point, this team full of young players will begin producing, and those who bought in at the floor will be glad they did.
Data Courtesy of Sports Reference.
Levis transferred to Kentucky after being unable to beat out Sean Clifford in his two years at Penn State, which is concerning. Despite switching teams and moving to the toughest conference in college football, Levis saw a breakout as a junior in his first season at Kentucky.
His breakout was not anything ground-breaking, and he could never eclipse the 3,000-passing yard mark in any of his four college seasons. Levis threw a career-high in touchdowns in that junior season but saw his production dip as a senior due to a lack of offensive weapons and poor offensive line play in front of him.
He is the definition of a project quarterback. He will require some time and coaching to get the most out of him. While he will not be the next Josh Allen, he will follow a similar career arc where he has to deal with early accuracy issues before developing into a more well-rounded quarterback.
Levis consistently ranks QB4 in rookie drafts, but the drop between QB3 and him is massive. As you can see, the other three quarterbacks are all off the board by pick five, while Levis falls to the back end of round one. This is a major reflection of the uncertainty surrounding Levis.
Many managers drafting Levis are doing so out of necessity, as the preferred quarterback options are long gone. He is being drafted as the final dart throw in the first round for teams needing a quarterback. If you are one of those quarterbacks’ needy teams, I advise you to trade back into the early first round for Levis. That portion of the draft is so polarizing that the cost to acquire the pick should be negligible, and he may prove to be your final shot at a franchise quarterback.
It may be a struggle in the early portion of his career, and you are going to exercise patience, first to wait for him even to get a chance to start and, secondly, to develop once he does find his way into a starting gig. He will have some growing pains; he is not an NFL-ready quarterback and will need some seasoning to develop into a franchise quarterback, if he can develop at all.
Data Courtesy of DLF Dynasty Trade Analyzer.
As stated above, the cost to acquire a late first-round rookie pick and Will Levis is a cheap one compared to the cost to acquire one of the other three quarterbacks. A top-five fantasy pick is unobtainable, while a back-end pick can be had at a discount.
Conversely, if you roster Levis and are not a believer in his talent, the return for him that can be had from a team in need is substantial. The list above contains a series of aging yet largely productive fantasy stars and even includes a few second-year studs in Dameon Pierce and Jahan Dotson. If you do not need the quarterback, those two are prime targets in trades as they will both provide significantly more return in 2023 than Levis will.
- 2023 Dynasty Rookie Post-Draft Update: Will Levis - May 22, 2023
- 2023 Dynasty Rookie Post-Draft Update: Darnell Washington - May 17, 2023
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