NFL Draft: Twitter Revolts at Mel Kiper’s Bryce Young Projection

Getty Football fans on Twitter ripped Mel Kiper Jr.'s NFL draft projection, which had Will Levis tabbed to be picked ahead of Bryce Young (Photo by Brandon Sumrall/Getty Images)

Mel Kiper Jr.’s controversial 2023 NFL draft projection on the November 3 episode of ESPN’s Get Up — one which had Bryce Young slotted as the prospective No. 5 pick, right behind Kentucky quarterback Will Levis at No. 4 — has gotten a rise out of football fans on Twitter who haven’t seen nearly enough from Levis to determine that he will be the second best signal-caller prospect in college football right now.

Levis is coming off of a 98-yard, 0-touchdown performance in a 44-6 loss to Tennessee in which he threw 3 interceptions and has a losing record (2-3) against SEC opponents during the 2022 season. Overall, he has 13 touchdowns to 8 interceptions to Young’s 18 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.

Kiper Jr. believes Levis’ size makes him an NFL prospect despite his underperformance this season after entering as a Heisman hopeful. Football fans on Twitter let their voice be known that they wholeheartedly disagree:

Bleacher Report Criticizes Will Levis’ Underperformance

Bleacher Report’s Adam Wells penned a piece focusing on Will Levis’ placement ahead of Bryce Young on Mel Kiper Jr.’s NFL draft board. Typically, articles aren’t dedicated to a big board unless it is egregious, undoubtedly giving Kiper’s placement a bad look.

Wells kept the piece mostly factual besides some flavor in its closing paragraph, where he called out Levis’ disappointing play so far in 2022 following his October 29 dud in Knoxville.

“No one will argue the Wildcats are on the same level as Tennessee as far as talent, but it would be nice to see a prospect who has a lot of questions about his ability to lead an NFL offense at least put up a strong fight under the national spotlight,” Wells wrote.

The Knocks on Bryce Young and the Desirable Traits of Will Levis

Nobody that has watched a quarter of football from either Alabama or Kentucky in 2022 would come away preferring Will Levis to Bryce Young at any level, but there is reasoning behind why scouts are high on the former but bearish on the latter.

Back on May 5, ESPN’s Todd McShay mocked Levis to the New York Giants at the No. 8 pick, explaining the appeal of Levis to NFL head coaches. “Levis needs to find more consistency, but he has a live arm and a big 6’3″, 232-pound frame,” McShay wrote. “He has thrived in the quick game at Kentucky, with a lot of run-pass options and screen-type stuff, but there are some Josh Allen-like traits here.”

As for Young, The Athletic’s Dane Brugler pointed out that there isn’t much of a precedent for quarterbacks of his size thriving at the NFL level, sharing that only two quarterbacks drafted in the past 25 years have been under six feet tall and 200 pounds like Young — that being Joe Hamilton in 2000 and Seneca Wallace in 2003.

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