There’s a long way to go in the 2022 NFL season. The Indianapolis Colts sit at 3-4-1 near the midway point of the season. Despite being outside the playoff picture entering Week 9, the Colts hope to make a run with new starting quarterback Sam Ehlinger.
Regardless of the final standings, though, the Colts will seemingly also spend the rest of this season evaluating Ehlinger. It also would not at all be shocking to see Indianapolis target a quarterback in the 2023 draft class.
In early evaluations of the 2023 draft, the Colts have been connected to Kentucky quarterback Will Levis.
In Bleacher Report’s post-trade deadline 2023 NFL mock draft, the Colts landed Levis with their first-round pick.
“The importance of finding a long-term solution to replace Andrew Luck, who abruptly retired three years ago, feels palpable for a team clearly in desperation mode,” wrote the BR staff.
“Levis has the physical traits and maturity to step in immediately and secure the position.”
On October 26, Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine identified the Colts as one of the best fits for Levis.
“The [BR] scouting department named Levis the most “pro-ready” prospect in the class,” Ballentine wrote. “That means a team like the Indianapolis Colts or Washington Commanders whose veteran additions have not panned out might want to make the move.”
Levis Compared to Josh Allen, Matthew Stafford
Standing at 6-foot-3 and 232 pounds, Levis has the appearance of an NFL quarterback. Combine that with his playing style, and the Kentucky quarterback has reminded analysts of some of the current star quarterbacks in the league.
ESPN’s Chris Low reported that one NFL personnel director told him “he sees a lot of” Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen in Levis.
The personnel director compared Levis’ strength, athletic ability and physical size to Allen.
“[Levis] just needs to continue to work on his pocket poise, his timing and his accuracy under pressure, but he’s one of the more intriguing quarterback prospects in this class,” the personnel director told Low. “Josh Allen had some inconsistencies with accuracy and timing as well, but we’ve seen how that has played out.
ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. compared Levis to Los Angeles Rams signal caller Matthew Stafford.
“Levis plays in a pro-style offense at Kentucky, and he’s not going to need much time to adjust to the NFL,” Kiper wrote in September 2022. “He doesn’t have a great supporting cast of playmakers around him, but he makes it work.
“He can maneuver the pocket and throw on the run. He’s the real deal, and he’s going to battle to be the top signal-caller in this class, though I want to see him clean up the mistakes and limit his turnovers.”
Levis Receives Approval From Colts Legend Peyton Manning
The scouts and draft experts clearly like the promise they see in Levis. For what it’s worth, former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning is a fan too.
“I like Will Levis. This guy is an NFL quarterback,” Manning said while appearing as a guest on ESPN’s College Gameday.
Levis completed 66.0% of his passes for 2,826 yards with 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions during his first season with the Wildcats last year. He spent his first two college seasons with Penn State, throwing for 644 yards on 102 pass attempts in 14 games.
Now a senior, Levis has improved in just about every major category for college quarterbacks. He has completed 68.1% of his passes for 1,733 yards in seven games this season. Levis also has 13 touchdowns versus 8 interceptions.
From his junior to senior seasons, he has seen his yards per attempt average jump from 8.0 to 9.1.
It will be interesting to see if the Colts agree with their former Super Bowl champion signal caller and consider Levis in the first round next spring.