Pro scheme familiarity is helping Will Levis in NFL Draft meetings

On3 imageby:Adam Luckett03/03/23


Will Levis was Kentucky’s starting quarterback for two seasons as the Wildcats switched to a pro-style offense. In the transition to the National Football League, Levis has an advantage.

One year after Liam Coen brought Sean McVay’s Los Angeles Rams playbook to Lexington, Rich Scangarello brought Kyle Shanahan’s San Franciso 49ers book to Kentucky with perhaps a twist of what Doug Pederson did with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Levis has played in a pro scheme where the quarterback was asked to get under center, complete hard play-action fakes, and go through true full-field progression reads in the dropback passing game. The Kentucky product believes that is helping him as he gets to know different pro personnel in meetings at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine.

“I think that our terminology crosses over with a lot of different teams in the league,” Levis told reporters on Friday morning. “When they’re asking about the plays that we run and we’re watching tape and I’m running through what our footwork or just our language that we used was. It’s kind of cool when they can realize kind of right away it’s the same or very similar to what they do.”

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Levis was forced to play through injuries as Scangarello took over in 2022, but the quarterback had a good season in 2021 under Coen. The former Penn State transfer was an effective rusher (514 non-sack rushing yards, 9 touchdowns, 6.0 yards per rush, 65.9% success rate) and showed growth as a passer throughout the season. Levis improved in yards per attempt (8.5) as a redshirt senior, but was under constant pressure due to bad offensive line play and was limited as a runner due to injuries.

The quarterback did not have the season he wanted in 2022, but there are real reasons to believe in him as a prospect. Levis might have the best toolbox in this class and has key familiarity with a pro scheme that could make his transition to the NFL easier.

“I think I’m able to assimilate myself very, very well. Better than anybody else I believe,” Levis said. “That’s the confidence I have just due to my experience and just due to my physical tools. I think that I’m going to be able to be plugged into any offense and learn it well and become a leader very quickly.”

No matter where Will Levis lands, there should be a starting position waiting on him. Whatever team picks the quarterback in the first round will be banking on the traits and experience in a pro-style offense to create early success.

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