Will Levis May Have Dropped In The Draft, But It Wasn’t Like He Fell Like Bud Light

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The way Will Levis tumbled from high in the first round of the NFL Draft last week all the way to the second round, it was like he was caught putting Bud Light in his coffee.

No, that wasn’t it.

“I’m a one-cream, one-sugar type of guy,” he told Tennessee Titans’ reporters on Friday after being picked with the second pick of the second round and 33rd overall after Tennessee traded up to get him.

Levis had joked previously that he put mayonnaise in his coffee and ate bananas whole.

“No, just another stupid thing I said,” he said. “I’m a football player, and just focusing on football.”

What possibly dropped Levis was injuries, particularly a left toe ailment called turf toe. He also had a dislocated finger in the 2022 season along with an ankle injury and a left shoulder problem. What possibly kept Levis from dropping more was the fact that he kept playing despite injuries.

He started 11 of 13 games in the 2022 season and finished with so-so numbers at fifth in the Southeastern Conference and 24th nationally in passing efficiency at 151.9. He completed 185 of 283 passes for 2,406 yard and 19 touchdowns with 10 interceptions.

“It was a pain in the butt, or a pain in the foot,” Levis said of his toe injury. “The second half of the season, it definitely affected my play style, my athleticism. To not have that 100 percent was, you know, it sucked. But that’s the notion of this game.”

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops noticed Levis’ toughness.

Will Levis Played Hurt, But Not Injured

“It doesn’t surprise anyone that he’s going to tough his way out,” he said last season as Levis nursed one injury or the other. “I’ve said it many times in different ways to people, Will’s not reckless. Just because he’s tough, he’s physical, he fights through things. He’s very intelligent. There’s a difference between hurting and being injured.”

Levis says his toe and the other injuries are fine now.

“Since late January or early February, I’ve been feeling 100 percent,” he said. “Looking forward to being able to play at full force.”

If Levis eventually replaces veteran Ryan Tannehill as the Titans’ starter, he may be more prepared than most at being able to last a 17-game regular season.

“It’s a game where most people aren’t playing at 100 percent week in and week out,” he said. “And I think I learned a lot from that. I learned mentally and physically just how to persevere through difficulities, and it helped me for my future I believe.”

Levis’ future involves entering the Titans’ facilities as the No. 3 quarterback behind Tannehill and second-year quarterback Malik Willis – a third round pick in 2022 from Liberty via Auburn. Tannehill, though, will be in the last year of his contract in 2023 that pays him $27 million a year.

“Ryan will be the starting quarterback on Monday,” Tennessee coach Mike Vrable said. “Malik will be the backup. Will will be the third quarterback. And what I’ve told them is whatever happens after that will be up to the players. That’s what it’s always been here.”

Tennessee Offense Needs A Spark

Tennessee needs change, though.

The Titans finished 30th out of 32 NFL teams in passing with 171.4 yards a game in a 7-10 season last year. They were near the bottom in total offense and scoring as well. Passing game coordinator Tim Kelly is the new offensive coordinator after the firing of Todd Downing.

“I know I’m going in there as last on the depth chart,” Levis said. “And I’ve got to earn every rep that I can get. So, I’m not even thinking about starting right away. I’m just thinking about the process.”

Levis may long think about the cameras constantly eyeballing him as he dropped and dropped last Thursday night in the first round, and out of it.

“Definitely a little bit of a chip,” he said, “but just knowing that I was going to work hard regardless of where I got picked. It was a test – a lot of uncertainty. I didn’t know how it was going to go.. I thought it was going to go a little different, but, hey, I’m going to attack this opportunity with all the intensity I always have.”


Written by Glenn Guilbeau

Guilbeau joined OutKick as an SEC columnist in September of 2021 after covering LSU and the Saints for 17 years at USA TODAY Louisiana. He has been a national columnist/feature writer since the summer of 2022, covering college football, basketball and baseball with some NFL, NBA, MLB, TV and Movies and general assignment, including hot dog taste tests.

A New Orleans native and Mizzou graduate, he has consistently won Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) awards since covering Alabama and Auburn at the Mobile Press-Register (1993-98) and LSU and the Saints at the Baton Rouge Advocate (1998-2004). In 2021, Guilbeau won an FWAA 1st for a game feature, placed in APSE Beat Writing, Breaking News and Explanatory, and won Beat Writer of the Year from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA). He won an FWAA columnist 1st in 2017 and was FWAA's top overall winner in 2016 with 1st in game story, 2nd in columns, and features honorable mention.

Guilbeau completed a book in 2022 about LSU's five-time national champion coach - "Everything Matters In Baseball: The Skip Bertman Story" - that is available at www.acadianhouse.com, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble outlets. He lives in Baton Rouge with his wife, the former Michelle Millhollon of Thibodaux who previously covered politics for the Baton Rouge Advocate and is a communications director.

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