Will Levis Selected by Tennessee Titans in the Second Round of NFL Draft

Will Levis Selected by Tennessee Titans in the Second Round of NFL Draft

Kentucky senior quarterback Will Levis was chosen in the second round by the Tennessee Titans as the 33rd overall pick in the 2023 National Football League Draft on Friday night at Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri.

Early in the second round, the Titans traded up eight places — from the 10th pick of the round to the second pick — in order to acquire Levis. Levis will rejoin former Wildcat tight end Justin Rigg on the Titans’ roster.  Levis and Rigg played together at UK during the 2021 season.

Levis, a native of Madison, Connecticut, was a two-time team captain who engineered a 17-7 record as the starter in his two seasons as a Wildcat. His 17 wins tied Terry Wilson for the second-most quarterback wins since 1993 (starting lineups available since 1993). He totaled 5,233 passing yards, which is sixth on UK’s career list, and accounted for 43 career touchdowns passes, which is fifth all-time at UK. Altogether, he had 54 total touchdowns (43 passing and 11 rushing). He totaled six 300-yard passing games as a Wildcat, which ranked fourth in school history.

In 2022, he led UK to its school-record seventh consecutive bowl appearance with a 7-6 overall record. Despite playing with multiple injuries during the season, he completed 185 of his 283 passes for 2,406 yards and 19 touchdowns and was on the watch lists for several national awards, including the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Top 10, College Football Performance Awards National Performer of the Year Trophy, Davey O’Brien QB Class of 2022, Manning Award, Maxwell Trophy and Walter Camp Player of the Year.

Levis had an impressive debut season for the Wildcats in 2021 after transferring from Penn State. In 13 games, he completed 233 of his 353 passes for 2,827 yards and 24 scores, while rushing for 376 net yards and nine touchdowns. His 24 TD passes were the most since Andre’ Woodson had 40 in 2007. He totaled 3,202 yards of total offense, the seventh player in school history to reach 3,000 yards of total offense in a season. He went on to lead UK to just its fourth 10-win season in school history with a win over Iowa in the Citrus Bowl.

Off the field, Levis graduated magna cum laude with a degree in finance in just three years from Penn State’s Smeal College of Business, finishing with a 3.95 grade-point average. In two years at Kentucky, he earned a master’s degree in finance from UK’s prestigious Gatton School of Business and Economics, graduating on Dec. 12, 2022.

Levis was named the Academic All-America® Division I Football Team Member of the Year in 2022 by the College Sports Communicators (formerly CoSIDA), becoming the first football player and just the second student-athlete at Kentucky to win the prestigious award, which recognizes athletic and academic success. He joins swimmer Asia Seidt, who was named the CoSIDA At-Large Academic Female Team Member of the Year in 2020. He also was named a first-team Academic All-American, UK’s first since Blake Best in 2019.

Following Friday’s selections, rounds 4–7 will begin Saturday, April 29 at noon ET. The Draft will be televised nationally by NFL Network, ABC, ESPN and ESPN Deportes, and can be heard nationwide on Westwood One Radio, SiriusXM NFL Radio and ESPN Radio.

Kentucky/NFL Draft Notes:

  • This marks the fifth straight year UK has had at least one player taken in the first three rounds.
  • Levis is the 22nd player drafted who played for head coach Mark Stoops at Kentucky.
  • Levis is Kentucky’s fifth second-round draft pick who played for Stoops, third year in a row UK has had a player taken in the second round.
    • The others in the Stoops era were cornerback Lonnie Johnson (2019), cornerback Kelvin Joseph (2021), receiver Wan’Dale Robinson (2022) and defensive end Josh Paschal (2022). All four of these players remain active in the NFL.
  • Levis is the first UK quarterback drafted since Andre’ Woodson was tabbed by the New York Giants in the sixth round in 2008. He is the highest UK QB selected since Tim Couch was the overall No. 1 pick of the 1999 draft.
  • Levis is the second Kentucky player ever drafted by the Tennessee Titans. Linebacker Avery Williamson was the first in 2014.
    • When the franchise was known as the Houston Oilers, they selected four Wildcats – offensive end Jim Campbell in 1982, linebacker John Grimsley in 1984, fullback Andy Murray in 1990 and offensive lineman Chuck Bradley in 1993.

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