Seahawks 2023 NFL draft: Why Seattle should pass on Will Levis

Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports /

The Seattle Seahawks might need a new quarterback starting in the 2023 season. That quarterback should not be Kentucky’s Will Levis, though. While every rookie quarterback in the NFL needs time to adjust, Levis might not ever be able to make that adjustment.

And before I get too deep into the situation, let me say that I can hear some people thinking, “Seattle won’t need Levis. Geno Smith is going to come back.” To that I say, probably, but Smith hasn’t yet re-signed with Seattle so anything is possible. It is a fool’s errand to try to guess what general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll are thinking in terms of roster makeup. They have those jobs for a reason and we don’t.

That said, all options are on the table for the Seahawks quarterback next season. Maybe Alabama’s Bryce Young or Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud falls to pick five overall and Seattle chooses one of them. Levis will likely be available at pick five as well, but if he is Seattle should say a hard no to him.

Seahawks should take a pass on Will Levis in the 2023 NFL draft

It is easy to watch Levis and know why some pundits like him so much. His quick release and arm strength are NFL-caliber. Many quarterbacks in the NFL can’t throw as well as Levis. That is, they can’t throw as well when there’s no pressure in their face and just heaving it downfield. With Levis, if a team pressures him, he is going to make a mistake. That’s the problem.

Levis makes some horrible decisions on passes and he will be a turnover machine in the NFL. This season against the Tennessee Volunteers, Levis threw 3 interceptions and completed 16 of 27 passes for just 98 yards. Tennessee was good this season, sure, but their defense wasn’t the reason. Plus, the picks that Levis threw were passes that were well off the mark and he looked like someone who had rarely played quarterback before.

In 2022, Levis had 19 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. Those are some mediocre numbers for any quarterback, but a quarterback with Levis’s physical ability should be much better. But against SEC teams (teams that likely have many players that will be solid pros in the NFL and who Levis will compete against at the next level as well), Levis had 8 touchdown passes and 7 interceptions. Levis fared better against teams like Northern Illinois and Miami of Ohio.

Some like to say Levis will be able to use his legs well in the NFL, too. But while Levis is big – he is 6’3″ and 225 well-proportioned pounds – and isn’t slow, his rushing numbers (including sacks, of course) were astonishingly bad this year. Levis attempted to run 72 times and managed negative-107 yards. Part of Levis’s problems were he had few weapons on his Kentucky team, but a very good quarterback can help compensate for that. Levis couldn’t.

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Levis is going to need some seasoning in the NFL and he must find a coach who is patient with him and can coach him up. Levis has to be open to coaching as well. But at this point, the Seahawks would be better off not taking Levis and trying to find a quarterback who isn’t going to throw some many bad picks and take the safe route when needed.