Day one of the NFL Draft is in the books Rams fans, which concludes of another year in the Sean McVay era without a first round selection.
With that being said, that does not mean that there are not first-round caliber players available heading into day two for L.A., with one player in particular that not many expected to fall into the 2nd round. That player is Kentucky quarterback Will Levis.
Now, the Rams do have needs elsewhere and, with a back-up QB being something that will need to be addressed, many expect them to select one in the latter rounds of the Draft. However, who could have predicted that a QB with as much upside as Will Levis would fall out of the 1st round? Really no one, which ultimately presents a very interesting situation for the Rams, a situation that they probably did not anticipate.
Let’s dive into why Will Levis should be the pick if he is still there at 36:
STAFFORD CANNOT PLAY FOREVER
This is probably the most obvious reason for the Rams to take Levis in my eyes. Starting quarterback Matthew Stafford is up there in age and, with rumors about retirement this off-season, it is fair to assume he will play out the remaining two years of his contract and then hang up the cleats.
Drafting Levis makes so much sense because he doesn not have to play right away and probably wouldn’t have to for two full seasons. In that time frame, Levis will have an opportunity to learn under Stafford and Head Coach Sean McVay, ultimately setting himself up to be ready to go when Stafford inevitably calls it a career.
THE UPSIDE FOR LEVIS IS UNDENIABLE
Listen, I am well aware that Levis has his naysayers and doubters and, quite frankly, I was a doubter myself. However, after diving into some tape, I am here to say that, in the right situation, he has the potential to become a high-caliber quarterback in the NFL.
Some of the tools/traits that Levis possesses are uncoachable, like his God-given size and his absurd arm talent. If you were to try and create a prototypical QB in terms of body type and skill set, it’d probably be something like Levis. Levis also has experience in the what the Rams try to accomplish offensively, as he played for former Rams OC Liam Coen at Kentucky. If you watched Kentucky play, you’ll see an offensive philosophy eerily similar to that of the Rams’ philosophy.
All of the knocks on Levis have to do with technical/mechanical work, things that can be ironed out with a couple years of being an understudy of Matthew Stafford and Sean McVay. There is a rumor out there that teams did not take Levis because of a toe injury, as reported by Chris Mortenson:
Will Levis’ left toe that caused him to miss two games last year was “problematic “ for one team that considered him.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) April 28, 2023
Levis says the “toe has healed” and good to go.
Another team believes Levis could manage it but thought surgery would need discussion after season.
IS IT L.A. WITHOUT A SPLASH?
I am well aware that the Rams need an EDGE rusher or even a corner, both of which probably exceed the needs of a QB at the time being. I am well aware that the offensive line was bad last season, so the team should probably address that if they want to be competitive next season.
All three of those positional needs do make more sense than drafting a QB. but this is Los Angeles we are talking about, and drafting Will Levis would be very on-brand for GM Les Snead and coach Sean McVay. None of this would matter if Levis did not fall out of the first round, but he did, presenting the Rams with a very unique opportunity at snagging their possible quarterback of the future.
I say go for it, as it is a league that is ran by freak quarterbacks with loads of arm talent and the ability to extend plays with their legs, all of which Levis can do. Let him sit for a couple of years, learn the system, become a more well-rounded passer, and proceed to tear up the league for years to come.