WYMAN AND BOB

Seahawks Draft: Kentucky PxP explains why Will Levis’ comp is Josh Allen

Feb 3, 2023, 4:33 PM | Updated: 8:19 pm
Seahawks Will LEvis...
Will Levis of the Kentucky Wildcats throws the ball against the Youngstown Penguins at Kroger Field on September 17, 2022. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Who will the Seahawks pick at No. 5 overall in April’s NFL Draft?

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That’s certainly a hot topic when looking at the Seahawks this offseason, and there have been a number of names thrown around.

But ESPN’s Mel Kiper added a new name to the mix in his first mock draft of the offseason, in which he sent Kentucky quarterback Will Levis to Seattle with the draft’s fifth pick.

With Levis’ name thrown out there for the Seahawks, let’s learn more about the Kentucky signal caller, shall we? And who better to help with that than Tom Leach, who calls Kentucky football games as the Wildcats’ play-by-play man. Leach joined Wyman and Bob on Seattle Sports 710 AM on Friday to discuss Levis’ pro prospects.

“He’s a guy that should – whether it’s at the combine or in a private workout – really impress scouts, because he’s got all the things if you feed data into a computer and it spits out an NFL quarterback, it spits out somebody that looks like him,” Leach said of the 6-foot-3, 232-pound Levis. “He’s big, strong, (has a) strong arm, just a cannon for an arm. The question when he arrived here was that they maybe wasn’t as good on the touch passes, but he definitely improved on that … Will has everything you would want in terms of what a quarterback looks like, arm strength and body type, etc.”

What’s hard to avoid with Levis is how his numbers dipped from 2021 to 2022. Levis’ completion percentage was roughly the same, but he did throw for five fewer touchdowns and 420 fewer yards.

Leach noted that in Levis’ final year at Kentucky, the Wildcats lost three offensive linemen as well as Levis’ top receiving target to the NFL. Levis also lost his offensive coordinator, who left to coach in the NFL with the LA Rams.

“Kentucky for the first time, really, in several years, didn’t do a good job of replacing the guys on the O-line that left, so it was an offensive line that really struggled to protect him,” he said. “And he had a new offensive coordinator and he was learning a little bit of a new system there. And then he got hurt in Week 4.”

While playing Ole Miss early in the season, Levis injured both his shoulder and foot, Leach said, and that impacted him and Kentucky’s offense the rest of the season.

“He was never fully healthy the rest of the season, so it took away a big part of his game is running – either designed runs or scrambling – and it took that away because he was so valuable to the team that they didn’t want to risk him getting any more injuries trying to run, so he became a little bit of a sitting duck (in the pocket),” Leach said. “Just a lot of factors conspired to keep his numbers down from what they might have been under much better circumstances.”

When looking at Levis’ body and skillset, which current NFL quarterback is Levis most similar to?

“The guy that gets mentioned most often is Josh Allen from the Bills. Similar body type, arm strength, comfortable, running the football … He’s the guy that gets mentioned the most often,” Leach said.

Allen is a Pro Bowler in Buffalo who has emerged as a perennial MVP contender. Allen was picked seventh overall in 2018, and Leach said many questions that evaluators have about Levis are ones they had with Allen five years ago.

“(Levis) probably had a few too many picks, but I think they said the same thing maybe about Allen. The things you can’t teach, (Levis) has, and any deficiencies you might find in his game are things I think that can be coached up with more experience and reps and better personnel around him, particularly on offensive line,” Leach said.

“But think about it, in these two years as a starter (at Kentucky he’s had) a new offensive coordinator each one of those years, so once he maybe gets with the same OC for two or three years, four years in a row, I could certainly see him addressing any of the issues that he might have,” he later added. “Again, it kind of goes back to the Josh Allen comparison. He had some similar questions about maybe some numbers for him coming out of Wyoming, and then he’s done really well.”

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