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Will Levis, QB, Kentucky | NFL Draft Scouting Report

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Since 2012, the first round of the NFL Draft has averaged three quarterback selections. In this cycle, C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young are the favorites to be Nos. 1 and 2. With his scouting report, can Kentucky QB Will Levis lock down another Round 1 spot in the 2023 NFL Draft?

Will Levis NFL draft profile

Levis’ career track is different from that of most first-round QB prospects. The Kentucky QB was a 2018 recruit in the same class as Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. And yet, 2021 was his first season as a starting signal-caller at the collegiate level.

While other quarterbacks found immediate stardom, Levis took the longer road to prominence. Levis was a 4.0 student at Xavier in Connecticut and had offers from a number of Ivy League schools, including Harvard, Princeton, Dartmouth, and Columbia. But Levis wanted to pursue a D1 football career and signed with Penn State instead.

Three years passed. Levis redshirted in 2018 and started two games total through 2019 and 2020. At the end of that stretch, Levis transferred to Kentucky. And in Lexington, he finally emerged as a legitimate draft prospect.

Levis only carried 102 career attempts into the 2021 season, but he picked things up quickly. A team captain his first year at Kentucky, Levis collected 2,826 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions in 13 starts. He also added 376 yards and nine scores on the ground.

Now, Levis looks on to 2022, aiming to take the next step.

  • Position: Quarterback
  • School: Kentucky
  • Current Year: Redshirt Senior
  • Height/Weight: 6’4, 230 pounds

Will Levis scouting report

Levis would be undrafted for his eating habits. He eats bananas with the peel on, and he puts mayonnaise in his coffee. But we’ll let all that slide. Because on the field, he brings plenty of talent.

Levis’ positives

Levis has very exciting tools as a passer and a creator. The Kentucky QB stands at 6’4″, 230 pounds, with a strong, dense frame that can withstand contact. And with his frame, Levis brings elite arm talent to the fold. He generates elite velocity on throws with visible ease and has a quick, crisp 3/4 sidearm release. His velocity carries well to all levels of the field and travels with immediacy in the short and intermediate ranges.

Levis has a supremely strong arm — strong enough to generate high levels of velocity even when off-platform and rolling against his dominant side. But beyond that, his arm is also noticeably elastic. The Kentucky QB is very natural and comfortable throwing from different arm angles, and he can generate high levels of velocity from various arm angles. He’s able to throw with pace and accuracy off-platform, and he can correct incongruent mechanics with his arm talent.

Levis doesn’t just have high-end arm talent, either. He’s a legitimate athlete with potential 4.6 speed at his size. He shows great burst and speed in the open field and has enough agility to make single cuts. The physical edge Levis plays with as a runner is even more enticing. For a QB, he breaks tackles with more consistency than expected. He plays strong in the pocket, churns his legs through tackle attempts, and frequently extends plays with his frame, play strength, and athleticism.

Levis’ arm talent is a central part of his game, but he’s also proficient at properly channeling that arm talent with strong mechanics. Levis consistently gets excellent hip rotation on his throws, which allows him to generate maximum velocity. He’s also shown he can stay in phase with his base, keep his feet active, and place his front foot properly for placement and rotation. Moreover, he continually keeps his shoulders level on release, and he can also keep his shoulders level off-platform.

Not only does Levis have good mechanics, but he can also actively manipulate his mechanics to influence ball placement. He can adjust his shoulder alignment situationally to manipulate the trajectory of his throws — a tendency that shows up most often on seam routes and boundary fades. On those throws, he can mix velocity and touch to arc the ball into small windows. In a similar vein, Levis has shown he can lead WRs low in tight situations to minimize the threat of contact and disruption.

There are lapses with precision at times from Levis, which we’ll get to later. But overall, he’s underrated with his general accuracy. He consistently throws within the WR’s wheelhouse and doesn’t often throw uncatchable balls. He’s a reliable rhythm passer with snappy lower-body mechanics off the snap, and he can lead receivers for run-after-catch yards with great velocity in the short range. And over the middle of the field, he has displayed the ability to lead into space, away from contact.

Processing and field vision are areas where Levis can improve. But even there, the Kentucky QB has shown glimpses of promise. Levis flashes the ability to anticipate windows and go through progression work. He’s also shown he can read defender spacing pre-snap and identify favorable matchups based on route concepts.

While there were a lot of rhythm and timing throws in 2021, Levis did go through hi-to-low reads on occasion, and he has the capacity to process and progress through options quickly. In select situations, particularly against zone coverage, Levis displayed the wherewithal to wait ahead of his release to let overlapping route concepts play out and neutralize the threat of an underneath defender.

Levis’ work in the pocket serves as a sturdy foundation for his passing production. The Kentucky QB senses pressure well, and he’s often quick to detect penetrating rushers and step into lanes to avoid contact. He’s shown he can manage space in the pocket to buy himself more time. While he can be skittish at times, there are awesome glimpses of poise in the pocket. Levis shows the steadiness to stand in as the pocket condenses. He steps forward into tightening lanes and delivers throws amidst direct contact.

Among other things, Levis often keeps his eyes forward on the dropback to hold safeties, and he’s shown he can use subtle bursts of eye manipulation to open up the field. Additionally, he’s willing to throw the ball away when plays collapse and nothing is there. On the ground, Levis is a supremely tough competitor who fights to stay on his feet and gain extra yards. In both phases, there are definite clutch moments on tape. More than once, Levis delivered in late-down, high-distance situations in 2021.

Levis’ areas for improvement

Right now, the most pressing concern with Levis is his inconsistent field vision and anticipation. The Kentucky QB can do a better job anticipating overall. He often experiences slight delays before throwing and loses time waiting a bit longer for breaks. His trigger can be a bit late, and his lack of anticipation gives defenders more time to close in, minimize RAC, or make plays on the ball.

Levis sometimes locks onto WRs pre-snap and will prematurely commit to routes even. He stares down his primary receiver at times, inviting defenders to close in early with his eyes. His field vision is questionable at times. He sometimes misses open receivers and occasionally forces intermediate and deep throws with defenders looming. Levis is effective off play-action and on timing throws, but he can accrue more experience with full-field reads.

As a thrower, Levis can be more precise at times. Especially over the middle, he sometimes fails to lead receivers and forces high-difficulty adjustments in congested areas. He’s still learning to mix velocity and touch, and he sometimes puts too much heat and too little loft on passes. His release is fast but can be concave at times, pushing passes high as a result.

Elsewhere, Levis’ pressure detection can fluctuate both ways. He can be spooked into prematurely dropping his eyes and running. Conversely, he occasionally has lapses in pressure detection and takes hard hits on the blind side. He can be rushed into making non-ideal decisions by pressure and sometimes fades back as he throws, eroding his mechanics.

Lastly, while Levis’ toughness as a runner is appealing, he has room to better preserve himself on the ground.

Current draft projection for Kentucky QB Will Levis

Levis is a polarizing prospect at the QB position. But after re-evaluating his most recent tape, I feel he’s worthy of Round 1 capital. And with a year of improvement, he could work himself into the early first-round range. Levis has high-end physical tools. And while he has room for further refinement, there are bright flashes on the operational side.

Levis graded on the Day 1-Day 2 boundary for me, but the positional value at quarterback and his corresponding upside lift him into the first-round conversation. Levis checks almost all the boxes when it comes to the unteachable traits. He’s a strong player both inside and outside the pocket, with a compact 6’4″, 230-pound frame. He’s a great athlete with good speed, burst, and flashes of one-cut elusiveness. And his arm can generate elite levels of velocity from different angles.

Levis has a clear path to improvement in 2022, but it will be easier said than done. He has to become much more consistent reading the field and anticipating windows, and he needs to more consistently lead receivers effectively, especially over the middle of the field. But as it stands, he has good mechanics and pocket management, his accuracy is far from a liability, and he does show flashes of anticipation to build on.

Taking Levis’ potential for growth into account, his stable, unteachable traits remain exhilarating. Levis is an athletic, resilient, and supremely talented passer, with the high-end attributes to buoy a franchise-caliber ceiling as he gains more starting experience.

Ian Cummings is a Draft Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can find his writing here and follow him on Twitter: @IC_Draft.





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First day of Deshaun Watson disciplinary hearing in Delaware concludes, second day set for Wednesday

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The legal team for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson made their case before jointly appointed disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson in Delaware on Tuesday during the first day of a disciplinary hearing.

Opening statements began at 9 a.m. ET, and the second day of the proceedings will commence on Wednesday.

Day 1 of Deshaun Watson disciplinary hearing concludes

The hearings are held in Delaware, and it’s unclear how many days it will take, per a source.

Watson, represented by NFL Players Association outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler and Houston-based attorney Rusty Hardin, has been accused of multiple violations of the NFL personal conduct policy after being sued and settling 20 of 24 civil lawsuits with female massage therapists accusing him of sexual misconduct. Watson

The NFL investigation, led by senior vice president and special counsel for investigations Lisa Friel, a former Manhattan, NY chief sex crimes prosecutor, is pushing for an indefinite suspension of at least one year, according to league sources.

Watson’s legal team is requesting no punishment or a much lesser sanction based on precedent, evidence, and the slight consequences for NFL owners Robert Kraft, Jerry Jones, and Daniel Snyder, according to sources.

This marks the first case heard by Robinson, a former U.S. District Judge now practicing law in Delaware, under a new system after the collective bargaining agreement that was amended two years ago.

The three-time Pro Bowl selection and former first-round draft pick from Clemson reached a confidential settlement with 20 of 24 plaintiffs represented by Houston-based attorney Tony Buzbee. Buzbee has subsequently added the Houston Texans, Watson’s former employer, as a defendant, alleging that they “enabled” his “behavior.”

Robinson is expected to issue a ruling in advance of training camp. One source predicted the ruling could come as soon as within one week after the hearing is completed.

The NFL and the players union have previously attempted to strike a compromise on a settlement of a proposed punishment of Watson, who didn’t play last season and was paid his full $10.54 million salary after requesting a trade from the Texans. However, sources emphasized that they never came close to a deal.

The reasoning from the league behind a potential indefinite suspension, as the NFL imposed in the Michael Vick dog fighting scandal and Ray Rice’s domestic violence case, would be to give them flexibility to potentially impose further discipline in case other allegations of misconduct surfaced. Although no DNA, audio, or video evidence exists in the cases, according to multiple sources, the NFL will use text messages, depositions, and interviews to make its argument.

Under NFL rules governing personal conduct policy matters, Watson has the right to appeal to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. The appeal could also be heard by another appointed officer.

When the settlement was reached, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email to Pro Football Network that the settlement wouldn’t affect the ongoing league investigation, writing, “Today’s development has no impact on the collectively bargained disciplinary process.”

Plaintiffs’ attorney Tony Buzbee has also filed a lawsuit against the Houston Texans, lawsuit alleging they enabled Watson’s behavior by providing a membership to the Houstonian hotel and spa and giving him a nondisclosure agreement for vendors. The Texans have stated previously they had no knowledge of Watson’s alleged misconduct.

Watson was not charged by two Texas grand juries. He has maintained his innocence throughout the legal process.

“I’ve been honest and I’ve been truthful about my stance and that’s I never forced anyone, I never assaulted anyone,” Watson said during a recent minicamp press conference. “So, that’s what I’ve been saying it from the beginning and I’m going to continue to do that until all the facts come out on the legal side. I have to continue to just go with the process with my legal team and the court of law.”



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Which kicker has scored the most fantasy football points in a single game?

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The role of kickers in fantasy football leagues is becoming much more of a debate, and the recency of our list of the most fantasy football points by a kicker in a single game demonstrates why. With all of the top scores on this list of leading fantasy performances in a single game coming since 2000, it is somewhat clear why the role of kickers is so controversial. With the volatile position able to change a contest, let’s examine which kickers sit among the top 10 for the most fantasy points scored in a single game.

The role of kickers in the NFL and consequently fantasy football has evolved over time. Prior to the merger, kickers were not always specialists and often served other roles. Take George Blanda, for example, who was both a kicker and QB. If we included premerger scores, Blanda would top this list with 36.8 fantasy points. However, the majority of those points would come from his role as a QB.

Therefore, we have set the benchmark for this article at the merger (1970) between the AFL and NFL. That allows us to keep the scoring consistent across the position as well as with the rest of this series of articles. The data for this article comes from Pro Football Reference. The scoring sees 1 point for an extra point, 3 points for field goals, and 2 bonus points for field goals of 50 yards or more.

T-8) Greg Zuerlein | 23 fantasy points

Rams at Cowboys | Week 4 | Oct. 1, 2017

Greg Zuerlein’s reputation as a kicker has earned him the nicknames “Greg the Leg” and “Legatron.” His best performance from a fantasy perspective came in Week 4 of the 2017 season. Zuerlein was a perfect 9 for 9 as he scored seven field goals and kicked two extra points. Zuerlein scored 23 of the Rams’ 35 points as they defeated the Cowboys 35-30.

T-8) Jeff Wilkins | 23 fantasy points

Rams vs. Chargers | Week 5 | Oct. 1, 2000

The oldest performance on this list also makes it back-to-back appearances from Rams players. Wilkins spent 11 years with the Rams and played 171 games, but his best performance came in 2000. Wilkins’ performance was more balanced than Zuerlein’s as he kicked five field goals and six extra points. One of those field goals was also over 50 yards.

T-8) Blair Walsh | 23 fantasy points

Vikings vs. Giants | Week 16 | Dec. 27, 2015

Unlike Wilkins and Zuerlein, Blair Walsh was not perfect in this 2015 performance. However, with five field goals and going 4 of 5 on extra points, he also posted 23 fantasy points. Despite just nine kicks, two were from more than 50 yards, giving Walsh 23 points and having him tie for eighth on this list of the most fantasy points by a kicker in a single game.

T-8) Jason Sanders | 23 fantasy points

Dolphins at Jets | Week 14 | Dec. 8, 2019

This performance on the list has a very different look to it. Jason Sanders scored all 21 points for the Dolphins in this game as he made 7 of 8 attempts. Included in that was a 53-yard field goal to give him 23 fantasy points for the game.

T-6) Blair Walsh | 24 fantasy points

Vikings at Rams | Week 15 | Dec. 16, 2012

Walsh makes his second appearance on our list of the most fantasy points by a kicker in a single game. In this game, Walsh kicked three extra points and five field goals for 18 of the Vikings’ 36 points. With three field goals of 50 or more, Walsh finished the game with 24 fantasy points.

T-6) Jason Myers | 24 fantasy points

Jets vs. Colts | Week 6 | Oct. 14, 2018

Jason Myers kicked a combined 10 field goals and extra points as the Jets prevailed 42-34 over the Colts. Myers had three extra points and seven field goals to score a total of 24 fantasy points.

T-3) Cairo Santos | 25 fantasy points

Chiefs at Bengals | Week 4 | Oct. 4, 2015

In a game where the Bengals’ defense blunted the Chiefs’ offense, Cairo Santos provided all of the scoring for Kansas City. Santos kicked seven field goals, two from more than 50 yards, to finish with 25 fantasy points in this Week 4 contest.

T-3) Stephen Gostkowski | 25 fantasy points

Titans at Vikings | Week 3 | Sept. 27, 2020

Stephen Gostkowski is best known for his time with the New England Patriots. However, his appearance on this list of the most fantasy points by a kicker in a single game came while he played for the Titans. Gostkowski had one extra point and six field goals as the Titans won 31-30. Three of those field goals were from over 50 yards to leave Gostkowski with 25 fantasy points.

T-3) Billy Cundiff | 25 fantasy points

Cowboys at Giants | Week 2 | Sept. 15, 2003

Billy Cundiff was a key contributor in the Dallas Cowboys’ 35-32 victory over the New York Giants. He kicked two extra points and went 7 for 8 on field goals in a fantastic performance. One of those field goals came as time expired in the fourth quarter to tie the game before another in overtime won the game for Dallas. Cundiff’s game-tying field goal was a 52-yarder, giving him 25 fantasy points.

2) Jay Feely | 27.5 fantasy points

Cardinals vs. Broncos | Week 14 | Dec. 12, 2010

Jay Feely finds himself second on the list of the most fantasy points by a kicker in a single game thanks to being the only player on the list to score some of his points by finding the end zone. Feely actually scored six consecutive times in this game against the Broncos.

Five of them were field goals, with a five-yard rush and subsequent extra point in the middle. Feely would kick another three extra points as the Cardinals ran out 43-13 victors. He finished with five field goals, four extra points, five rushing yards, and a rushing touchdown for 27.5 fantasy points.

Which kicker has scored the most fantasy points in a single game?

1) Rob Bironas | 28 fantasy points

Titans at Texans | Week 7 | Oct. 21, 2007

Rob Bironas is the kicker that tops our list with the most fantasy points in a single game. The performance came in a 38-36 victory for the Titans over the Texans, with Bironas kicking a game-winning field goal as time expired. Bironas would kick a total of eight field goals — two of more than 50 yards — and two extra points. He finishes atop this list with 28 fantasy points in Week 7 of the 2007 season.



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Why Commanders WR Terry McLaurin’s three-year contract extension stands out

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The financial windfall for elite wide receivers continues to unfold. The Washington Commanders struck a three-year, $71 million contract extension with wide receiver Terry McLaurin, according to league sources. The contract was negotiated by agents Buddy Baker and Tony Bonagura of Exclusive Sports along with Commanders executive Rob Rogers.

Terry McLaurin, Commanders agree to three-year extension

Per a source, 76% of McLaurin’s deal is guaranteed at signing, including a $28 million signing bonus.

McLaurin is one of the top young wide receivers in the NFL. The Commanders standout skipped minicamp after previously choosing to not attend voluntary organized team activities.

Heading into the final year of his rookie contract, McLaurin was originally due a $2.79 million base salary. Now, he’s netted a huge payday.

McLaurin has done everything the Commanders could have hoped for. Head coach Ron Rivera told reporters at minicamp he understands what the former Ohio State standout is doing and expressed confidence that something would ultimately be worked out.

Now, it has.

McLaurin had 1,053 yards and five touchdowns last season on 77 receptions. He’s incredibly valuable to an offense that’s hoping to revive the career of quarterback Carson Wentz.

This is an extremely positive development for the NFC East franchise. They’ve rewarded one of their top young players and established that they will take care of their homegrown players when they’ve earned a new deal.

This is regarded as a true win-win. The Commanders avoided drama with McLaurin and have taken care of business.



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