NASHVILLE — We interrupt your regularly scheduled Titans programming for this very important message. Working ahead for next football season, I started watching some of the top draft prospects in the SEC.

Asking around the NFL scouting community for recommendations beyond reigning Heisman-winner Bryce Young, no prospect was mentioned more than Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Will Levis.

Kentucky football has done nothing but improve since coach Mark Stoops took over the program in 2013. Levis transferred to Lexington from Penn State ahead of his junior season and showed the ability of a future first-round draft choice. The Wildcats won 10 games in 2021 and their sixth consecutive bowl appearance under Stoops.

Now, Levis has the NFL’s attention.

Levis is a good QB prospect in an improved class

SEC East
Kentucky quarterback Will Levis (7) throws during a NCAA college football game in the Vrbo Citrus Bowl against Iowa, Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla.

The above fact is not any kind of ground-breaking assessment.

Levis did not come into college football as a highly touted recruit. The 3-star out of Middletown, CT barely sniffed the Top 30 pro style quarterbacks in the 2018 class (28th). Jacksonville Jaguars passer Trevor Lawrence was the No. 1 overall high school player that year, for what it is worth. Even when he arrived in Happy Valley, Levis struggled to gain traction.

He played in six games as a redshirt freshman for the Nittany Lions and then eight more the following year. Levis then transferred into the SEC East, joined the Wildcats and enjoyed a breakout season.

A second-place finish in the East with Kentucky and an expanded sample size of what he could do in a pro style offense has the redshirt senior projecting as an NFL first round pick.

“Will Levis last year played for Liam Coen, the offensive coordinator,” said NFL Films analyst Greg Cosell. “(Coen) came from the Rams. He’s now back with the Rams. He’s being replaced this year by Rich Scangarello, who has a large NFL resumé. Will Levis is being coached by NFL coaches with NFL pass game concepts.”

That is a very important detail to keep in mind, given what we know about how few college quarterbacks actually receive that kind of tutelage before turning pro.

2nd Place in the SEC East is there for Kentucky’s taking

The race for who can finish the best behind the defending College Football Playoff champion Georgia Bulldogs is a fascinating one.

Levis and Kentucky are well equipped, but the loss of a player like New York Giants second-round pick Wan’Dale Robinson should not be discounted. Offensive lineman Darian Kennard, Luke Fortner and Dare Rosenthal all departed the program for the NFL, as well. Where and how the University of Tennessee in Year 2 under Josh Heupel or wildcards Florida and South Carolina factor into this equation will be captivating as well.

Another strong campaign by Levis could very well vault him into the conversation for No. 1 overall pick.

Featured Image: USA TODAY Sports.