Will Levis can follow in Tom Brady’s footsteps (kind of)

Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

One NFL Draft expert has former Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Will Levis getting drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in his latest mock draft.

In exactly three weeks from now, on April 27, former Kentucky Wildcats QB Will Levis is projected to be selected in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Levis shined in two seasons in Lexington, garnering the attention of NFL scouts to the point where some NFL Draft aficionados have him as a top-three quarterback in this year’s draft.

One NFL Draft expert projects Levis to be the next Tom Brady.

Sort of. 

ESPN’s Todd McShay projected Levis to be drafted 14th by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Funny enough, in his mock, the Bucs actually trade up with the New England Patriots to select Levis.

As it stands, the Buccaneers have a lot of questions following the (actual) retirement of Brady. Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask are the two QBs on the roster, so taking a QB in round 1 is likely.

While Levis still has some areas to grow in, namely accuracy, his build, arm, and running ability are what NFL teams are falling in love with.

For the Bucs, selecting Levis could be a perfect pairing. Trask seems to be the backup to Mayfield, after a report that head coach Todd Bowles didn’t even call the 25-year-old signal caller after the team signed Baker.

While Mayfield will probably be the starter on week 1, the 27-year-old with be on his fourth team in six years. That’s not the most convincing start to a career that makes me think Baker is a franchise quarterback. He might be a good choice for 2023, but if the Bucs want to grow the franchise, selecting a player with as much potential as Levis seems like the better move.

One downside for Levis would be the system. Mayfield isn’t the typical veteran quarterback that can mentor a rookie. If Levis were to be drafted by the Bucs, Mayfield would be more of a competitor than a consultant.

But Tampa Bay does have one consultant, and his name is Bruce Arians! The senior football consultant has been noted as “The quarterback whisperer” thanks to a track record of developing Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, Carson Palmer, and winning a Super Bowl with Brady.

While Arians may not be on the actual coaching staff anymore, his presence could still have an impact on growing a young quarterback, depending on how often he’ll be around the building and able to put his word in.

For Levis, the situation in Tampa Bay has its positives and negatives. He would have a chance to become the starter in year one if the Mayfield experiment crashes and burns. However, if Trask goes elsewhere, he could be granted the keys to the starting job even earlier. On the flip side, if Levis falls to a team with a veteran quarterback, he could wait his turn for a couple of years as the heir apparent.

Whatever happens, all Kentucky Wildcats football fans can hope for is a good franchise where Will Levis can reach his full potential.