Will Levis emerges as favorite for No. 2 overall pick in NFL Draft after drastic odds shift

On3 imageby:Barkley Truax04/22/23


Will Levis had +1000 odds to be the No. 2 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft on Sunday. Less than two days later, the former Kentucky QB’s odds have improved drastically sitting at +130, per FanDuel Sportsbook.

Former Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud was the previous favorite, but his odds have bumped down to the fourth best at +400. Texas Tech‘s Tyree Wilson (+230) and Alabama‘s Will Anderson (+340) are No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.

The Houston Texans own the second pick in the upcoming draft and are certainly looking toward this draft class to find their next franchise quarterback. The news on Levis, whose scouting report differs on an analyst-to-analyst basis, has made noise on social media regarding the decision. He is the most polarizing player in the draft.

His stats were down across the board between his junior and senior campaigns, but the difference in Levis’s stats comes from the talent around him, particularly on his offensive line. Levis was sacked 36 times in 2022, which ranked Kentucky’s OL No. 128 out of 131 in the FBS. He was sacked 11.80% of the times he dropped back in the pocket last season. 

Levis finished last season with 2,406 yards — over 400 less than the year before. His touchdowns were down and his interceptions were up and was sacked 14 more times. In 2021, Levis rushed for 376 yards and 9 touchdowns. This past season, Levis rushed for -107 yards on 35 fewer attempts and seven fewer touchdowns because he wasn’t allowed to be comfortable in the pocket.

An argument could be made that if Levis was at a program like Alabama or Ohio State, there wouldn’t be as many differing opinions on the soon-to-be NFL quarterback. Instead, Levis was battling injuries all season behind one of the worst offensive lines in the country. His personnel out wide, while talented, lacked the experience that Stroud of Bryce Young, the presumed No. 1 overall pick, had on their squads.

Whether Levis pans out in the pros or not, it seems the Houston Texans are looking to be the team that is willing to take that chance on Levis if the betting odds are to be believed.

Regardless, Levis isn’t likely to wait very long for his name to be called when the 2023 NFL Draft gets underway from Thursday, April 27 through Saturday, April 29 in Kansas City, Missouri. The draft will be broadcasted throughout the weekend on both ESPN and NFL Network.