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Levis doesn't wait long to get picked on Day 2 of NFL draft

A Tennessee Titans trade in the second round of the NFL draft saw a Kentucky quarterback moving forward as a 33rd overall pick: unexpected, but quick.

Kentucky quarterback Will Levis at the first round of the NFL football draft, Thursday, April 27, 2023.
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Will Levis didn’t stick around to hear his name called after slipping out of the first round. He wouldn’t have waited long.

The Tennessee Titans traded up to get the second pick of the second round and took the Kentucky quarterback with the 33rd overall pick of the NFL draft on Friday night.

Levis was expected to go in the top 15, with some draft analysts projecting him in the top five. A few days before the draft, oddsmakers even made Levis the favorite to be the second QB selected behind Bryce Young.

But Young went first to Carolina, C.J. Stroud was picked second by Houston and Anthony Richardson was selected at No. 4 by Indianapolis. Levis kept waiting and once the Titans passed on him at No. 11, it became a grueling night. Television cameras panned over to Levis sitting with his girlfriend and family, staring at his phone.

The Titans weren’t going to pass him up again. They were aggressive, making a deal with the Arizona Cardinals to get their guy.

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Levis has prototypical size and athleticism. He’s got a strong arm and muscular build. But his accuracy and decision-making were inconsistent, especially last season when he played through injuries.

Levis, who played two seasons at Kentucky after transferring from Penn State, won’t have to play right away in Tennessee. The Titans have veteran Ryan Tannehill. They also drafted Malik Willis in the third round last year.

Day 2 of the draft at Union Station in downtown Kansas City kicked off with family ties. The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr. with the first pick of the second round. His dad, Joey Porter, was a three-time Pro Bowl linebacker in eight seasons with Pittsburgh.

With Steelers fans waving their yellow “Terrible Towels” among a crowd of more than 100,000 mostly red-clad Chiefs fans, Hall of Fame offensive lineman Alan Faneca stepped to the podium and announced Porter was the first pick of the second round.

With Levis gone, Hendon Hooker remained the best-available QB. The former Tennessee star is coming off ACL surgery.

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