Since the Jets got eliminated 2 weeks ago against Seattle, I've started to transition into offseason mode (a feeling we're all too familiar with, amirite??). At first, I was all aboard the Derek Carr train (signing Carr, not trading any assets for him to be clear), and I still think signing Carr would be a good move for this team. However, over the last few days, I've felt myself slowly starting to migrate towards drafting a QB and signing a hold-the-fort kinda guy in FA (Jimmy G, Brissett, or even re-signing Mike White) to a short-term deal (2-3 years). My reasoning is this, Carr would give us the best QB we've had potentially since Namath, but is he enough to get us above the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow, and Trevor Lawrence? I'm not sure. As good as Carr is, to compete in the AFC for the next decade, we need to get a guy that can go toe-to-toe with the elite QB's in our division and conference. With that being said, here is my case for Will Levis. (I might do one of these for Anthony Richardson too if that's something you all would like to see!) The Positives: Standing at 6'3" 230+lbs, Will Levis has the prototypical size that you're looking for in an NFL QB. He has the best arm talent in this year's QB class and while he may not have that elite, elite Josh Allen/Patrick Mahomes arm strength, it's probably just a slight notch below that. He has great-elite touch and ball placement, especially on throws towards the sidelines where that's a necessity. Very quick/concise throwing motion, which allows him to throw the ball even when under immediate pressure/throwing off platform. He can still be effective under pressure. UK's OL this year was atrocious (Levis was sacked 34 times this year, tied for 6th most among Power 5 QBs) and yet Levis still had the 3rd best completion % under pressure (52.4%), was tied for the 3rd fewest TO-worthy plays (4), and had the best adjusted completion % (72.4%) among all qualifying Power 5 QBs. Has shown that he's willing to step up into muddy pockets and throw the ball knowing he's going to take a hit. Has experience running a pro-style offense. Liam Coen was UK's OC in 2021 (left after last season to be the Rams OC and rumors are he's returning to UK soon) and ran a pro-style offense with a lot of NFL route concepts. Rich Scangarello (UK's 2022 OC) ran a similar system, just not as effectively at Coen. He's a plus athlete. No one is going to mistake Levis for Lamar Jackson or Justin Fields but with a 4.7 40 time, Levis is absolutely a threat to take off with his legs and when you combine that with his size, he's incredibly dangerous in the RZ and forces the defense to play 11-on-11. Has shown the ability to work through his progressions and make the correct read/throw. Has shown the ability to throw balls with anticipation into tight coverages/throw the receiver open. Level of competition. No one will be able to make the cupcake/COVID year excuses for Levis like we have with ZW. Levis has played in the toughest conference in college football for the last 2 years and produced. The dude is a gamer and a true leader. Go throw on a highlight tape of Levis and you'll see him making Josh Allen-esque plays (granted at the college level so it's not as impressive), hurdling over defenders, leading GW drives (namely the 2021 Citrus Bowl against Iowa who had a top 10 D), and doing everything he can to make sure his team gets the W. He was elected a team captain prior to last season despite being a transfer from Penn State and if you just watch the games, you can see how the team rallied around Levis after any big play. It's something UK hasn't had since Andre Woodson. The Negatives: The negatives have to start with his regression from 2021 to 2022. As a Kentucky fan, I can give you guys all the excuses in the world. Went from Coen to Scangarello (gigantic downgrade), played behind arguably the worst OL in the SEC this year, lost all of his top targets from 2021 and replaced them with 2 freshmen and a transfer from VaTech, and he had multiple injuries this year (left shoulder and left ankle) that impacted his game. But again, we've heard all of these excuses ad nausem for lots of QBs and the fact remains that Levis did not play nearly as well in 2022 as he did in 2021. Has shown that he can be careless with the football. Since becoming the starting QB at UK in 2021, Levis has 32 turnovers (13 INTs and 5 fumbles in 2021 10 INTs and 4 fumbles in 2022). I do think he's shown some progress in this aspect of his game this year which is evident in the tape and just the raw stats but I'd be lying if I said I didn't think this would be somewhat of a concern. While he's shown the ability to work through progressions, he also has a tendency to lock onto 1 WR and put too much faith in his arm talent. There are numerous examples on tape of Levis locking onto his 1st or 2nd read on a play and just trying to will or aim the ball to the receiver. This is a recipe for disaster in the NFL. His field vision/understanding of coverage concepts is very inconsistent. I struggle with how much of this is it's own stand-alone negative or if it ties into the negative I listed above but there are times where he either doesn't identify DBs rotating into certain coverages or is too trusting in his arm talent which results in bad throws or turnovers. While Levis has shown the ability to make anticipatory throws on occasion, oftentimes he's still a "see it and then throw it" type of QB. Showed he can be skittish in the pocket and look to bail too soon this year. I didn't see this as often in his 2021 tape so I want to believe it's a byproduct of the atrocious OL he played behind this year but we've seen this first-hand with ZW over the last 2 years so it has to be a negative for now. Will be 24 years old when he's drafted. This might not be as big of a knock as it used to be with QBs playing well into their 40's now but it has to be noted that he's a bit of an older prospect. All in all, I do think Will Levis is a 1st round-worthy QB prospect. He's got elite size and all the tools you look for in a modern-day NFL QB. I also think his issues can be corrected, especially when it comes to his ability to work through his progressions and make anticipatory throws because he's done these things on tape they're just a little too inconsistent for now. I also think his skittish-ness has more to do with the OL he played behind this year and less to do with him or his playstyle. The turnovers are probably the most concerning thing for him IMO but even that can be worked on to an extent. It's very likely Levis goes in the Top 10 due to some of the things I mentioned in the positives section but if he does slip to 13, I think he could be a worthwhile investment for a team that is truly a QB away from being a legit contender for the next decade. He may need some time to sit and learn the game at the NFL level but I also think he could step in fairly quickly and be productive due to his experience in a pro-style offense.