American Football

PFF 2023 NFL Mock Draft Projects Colts to Trade Up for Kentucky QB Will Levis at #1 Overall


COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 12 Vanderbilt at Kentucky
Photo by Jeff Moreland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Colts trade up to #1 overall, but it’s not necessarily for who you think it would be to select at the top spot.

According to PFF’s Marcus Mosher, the Indianapolis Colts are projected to trade up for Kentucky quarterback Will Levis with the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft—in his recent mock draft:


via mock trade with Bears

PFF Big Board Rank: 3

The Colts are in desperate need of a franchise quarterback and can’t afford to wait and see who’s available at No. 4. Instead, they move up to No. 1 and take Will Levis. Bryce Young is the more polished (and probably better) quarterback, but general manager Chris Ballard loves traits, and that’s what Levis has going for him. It’s a risky pick, but the Colts must swing for the fences to compete in the AFC South moving forward.

The listed 6’3”, 232 pound senior quarterback completed 185 of 283 passes (65.4%) for 2,406 passing yards, 19 passing touchdowns, and 10 interceptions during 11 starts for the Wildcats in 2022.

Levis is highly regarded for his size, big arm, and quick release—with the mobility to extend and make plays outside of the pocket. However, there are some continued issues with his decision-making, lower body mechanics, and progression through reads:

In my personal opinion, I get that some of Levis’s physical tools are tantalizing and fit the modern day ideal QB prototype, but I can’t but help get the same vibes that Colts fans just got from failed starter (and former Philadelphia Eagles top pick) Carson Wentz.

Been there.

Done that.

No need to repeat.

(*Not to mention, he’s already a little older for a rookie prospect, which is a factor in his development).

At #4 overall (or in a trade up), it makes more sense to go with the surer thing such as Alabama’s Bryce Young or Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, who have a lot less questions marks (featuring upgraded accuracy, decision-making, and their progression through reads).

Maybe their potential pro ceiling isn’t quite as high as Levis’s, but it just seems to me like either’s floor is a lot higher—and either is much more likely to reach consistent success at the next level than Levis, all things considered.

And if the Colts are going for the toolsy, high ceiling route, go for Florida’s Anthony Richardson instead—who arguably has the highest upside of any quarterback in this class.

It’s not that Levis cannot be a great quarterback at the next level, but there’s a lot more of a ‘boom or bust’ profile than either Young or Stroud atop the NFL Draft.

Maybe this article will end up on Freezing Cold Takes some day, but my preference would be to go another route entirely—especially in a potential trade up scenario.

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