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NFL Draft analyst reveals Manning family has backed Will Levis to the Colts

On3 imageby:Justin Rudolph04/26/23
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Former Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Will Levis is high on several NFL franchise’s draft boards ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft. Depending on who you ask, Levis is the third or fourth-best quarterback in this year’s draft. And that lines up perfectly with the NFL franchise most commonly linked to the former Wildcat in recent stories. During an appearance on NFL Live, former scout and ESPN analyst Matt Miller revealed what franchise that is. And one of the big reasons why Levis is so high on their board.

“You’re absolutely right,” said Miller. “Even going back to those conversations late night at the scouting combine, it was Indianapolis connected to Will Levis. One thing I’ve heard from people close to the Colts is that the Manning family has actually signed off on Will Levis; they’ve promoted him as, ‘We like this player. We think he would be a good quarterback in the NFL.’

“Probably going back to some of the time he spent with the family at the Manning Passing Academy. But Levis definitely has supporters in that organization.”

The stars appear to have lined up perfectly for the Colts to select Levis with the fourth pick. And the Mannings’ stamp of approval only cements this ideal union. But what, if anything, could stop them from picking the former Kentucky quarterback? As it turns out, it could be the potential of former Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud.

“Now, the question will be, if CJ Stroud is there, if he actually falls to number four overall; would that change their thinking? Remember, when we left the combine, all the buzz was CJ Stroud had the best passing workout we’ve maybe ever seen at the combine. So, how much weight would that carry with general manager Chris Ballard? But the closer we get to Thursday night, Will Levis’ name is the one most often connected to the Colts.”

There has been clamoring recently that the owners of the number two overall pick, the Houston Texans, will go in a different direction than a quarterback with that pick. And the Arizona Cardinals, who sit number three, are not in the market for a quarterback. So if the consensus number two quarterback in the draft is not drafted up within those selections, the Indianapolis Colts could be faced with a dilemma on what to do at quarterback. Fortunately for the Colts, it is something that owner Jim Irsay is all too familiar with here. In the 1998 Draft, he selected Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning over Ryan Leaf. And when the franchise elected to part ways with Manning, Indianapolis went with Andrew Luck over Robert Griffin.