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A case for Kentucky QB Will Levis to be the No. 1 overall pick

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April 7, 2023 2:46 pm

A case for Kentucky QB Will Levis to be the No. 1 overall pick

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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April 7, 2023 2:46 pm

Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio states why Will Levis should be the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft for the Carolina Panthers, and why Levis is the best all-around QB in the draft over Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, and Anthony Richardson. Also, Levis' high school coach Greg Jaskot stopped by to give more of a background on Levis.

Also, Minute Takes on The Masters, Carolina Hurricanes, and more. 

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That would be interesting, wouldn't it? Cam Newton backing up Aaron Rodgers in New York? That would, uh, that would be something. That might be the most interesting quarterback room in the history of the NFL. We would need to have a correspondent just to cover those games.

I just want it miked. Seriously, I want Cam to introduce Aaron Rodgers to that font, and I want Aaron to introduce Cam Newton to Hiyawaska. Make it Hard Knocks, I'd watch it. Gosh, just Hard Knocks quarterback. What are you making Cam Newton's push to get back into the league? He did not play at all last year. No, he didn't, and I thought it was actually smart of him to throw at Auburn's pro day.

You know scouts are going to be there, show you what you still got. He was thrown to his brother, but the story became Cam. Yeah, which is, again, which is a smart thing to do. I thought it was a good idea for him to do that, display what you physically can still do.

I just don't see it happening. I think just physically, it just, well, here's the thing. That's what we remember, right? We remember the end where he was clearly toast.

Yeah, he was, he was just physically, was just shot. I don't know how well his body's recovered because again, having all that time off, I don't know, time, time can tell on that, but here's the thing. I look at what, what is the league telling us in terms of what they view of Cam? They view that he's done, otherwise someone will bring him in for a workout. Someone will bring him in.

I'm sure his agent is working the phones and stuff all the time for him, but I don't know. I just, I just don't see it happening. Unfortunately, again, this is what the league is telling us, not what we think. I look at what the 32 teams around the NFL are saying and they say, sorry, you're not worth even bringing in as a backup.

I'm not worried about there where you are. I'm not there yet because I don't think we're completely through the period of time where teams look at their quarterback depth chart. I don't think we'll be there until after the draft.

Sure. Right. When, when everything is done, when Rogers is in New York, when Lamar Jackson is somewhere, I don't, so I don't think we're through that period to eliminate Cam Newton from the equation, barring an emergency. But if the Ravens can't sign Jackson, if the jets feel like, well, we need a backup, Zach Wilson ate the backup. Zach Wilson ate an option.

If Zach Wilson was an option, I don't think they'd be pursuing air. I mean, I maybe I could be wrong. I could be, they could say, Hey Zach, just sit there for a couple of years and just take a chill. Yeah. Learn.

And maybe, maybe that's the way they're looking at it. I don't know. Hey, still on a rookie deal.

Yeah. But now this is the year three. This is, is this, yeah, this is year three, the rookie deal.

I don't know. I mean, we haven't seen anything good from Zach Wilson through two years, but again, maybe if he waits another year, like we're going to have Mike Greenberg on the show later. Greenberg, I know was on the afternoon show.

It was earlier this week. The fit that he threw on get up when it was suggested to him that the jets would draft a quarterback. The jets don't do a lot of smart things, but drafting a quarterback for the jets, maybe not in the first round, but they have two second round picks. Yeah. If Hendon hooker is sitting there in the second round, you take it.

Yeah. If, if they feel like he has a pro future, you take it and you say, and you say, dude, you just sit, you just sit and you wait and you learn, you don't even have to give him a uniform, right? You just say you are going to learn for at least one year, maybe two. And then you could be the guy, keep rehabbing and strengthening your knee and just learn the worst thing you could do as an organization in football is not have a plan, not have a plan for what's next. Think about what Washington did with Kirk Cousins. All they did was play out the string.

They were just extending it as long as they could go. They didn't want to commit to Kirk, which I don't mind. He turned out to be, I mean, top half of the league starting quarterback.

Hard to argue, right? And he didn't want to commit to them either. Well, I think, I think he would have, but they did not want to give him a lot. Like they were happy to pay him year to year. Yeah.

So he, he beat like he's a, a business of football hall of Famer. Oh yeah. Right. But they, they franchise tagged him back to back years. So they weren't going to commit to him, but at the same time, they also didn't secure their future at quarterback. It wasn't until Cousins left that they drafted the wrong guy.

Right. But it wasn't until after that, that they decided on who their quarterback of the future was going to be. And it was a complete, what a complete mess.

You have to know who the next guy is. That's what Bill Belichick was doing with Jimmy Garoppolo. And unfortunately, Bill was wrong. Brady had more left in the tank than Bill thought. And Garoppolo ultimately had to be moved because you're not going to pay two quarterbacks. You can't pay two quarterbacks a lot of money.

You just can't do it. But if I'm the Jets, yeah, even after the Aaron Rodgers trade, I think about it. All right. We have, we have minute takes. I've taken up way too much time in minute takes, but that's all right.

We don't, there's not a lot, not a lot of games to discuss. All right, Dennis, you ready? Let's do it.

All right. Quinnipiac versus Minnesota. Let's go. Frozen four, baby.

You know what this is? It's a matchup of Logan Cooley of Minnesota. It might be the best player in college hockey.

Sure. And Skylar Brindamore, who plays for Quinnipiac. They won. They beat Michigan five, two yesterday. Yeah.

I encourage people to go to and watch the highlights of that game. That's as good, a fun eight and a half minute video as you'll ever watch. Do you see it?

I actually have not yet. No. Watch the video. Like thousands of scoring chances. High skill. High skill. Who you got?

Give me Quinnipiac. Obviously. We have no idea.

We can't root against Rob Brindamore or anyone in the Brindamore family. We have no idea. Yeah. Yeah. Give me the cue. So do you think...

I can't root for big 10 schools. I think that's true. You think Rod flies from Buffalo?

Oh, easily. Oh, I think Tom Dundon's got the private jet fueled up and ready to go. Seven o'clock game? I think it's an eight o'clock game. Eight o'clock game? Oh, he could get there.

Oh yeah. Just don't go overtime. Canes and Buffalo. Speaking of Canes and Buffalo, that's the next game up. Sabres, Hurricanes tomorrow. That's a 12 30 puck drop.

Something that you alluded to. Might as well be a morning skate for these teams. But nevertheless, I actually find matinee hockey games very entertaining because I think just all the weird stuff happens in these games. They tend to be high scoring.

Good. Weird bounces, funny goals, crazy situations. I'm looking forward to it, but the Canes need this win big time because I want them to stay ahead of the Devils in the Metropolitan division. Devils, by the way, play at Boston later on that night. We'll talk to Sean McDonough about that. He's going to do the game. High scoring game benefits the Hurricanes, Dennis. Of course.

That's my read on it. Yeah. The more goals, the better. We'll see Auntie Ronta tomorrow.

We will. Here's the thing, Sabres score a bunch, but they also give up a lot of games. They are leaky. Yes. Leaky on the back end.

Yes. They average about three and a half goals score per game and give up about three and a half goals a game as well. They are still in the playoff race though. That they are.

They're on the outside of it, but they're still there. Would not be surprised if they push, but Canes have to win an hockey game. I mean, they can't. Had two good periods last night. All right, let's close on the Masters, shall we? We're not even gonna have time for Premier League. I'm sorry. I'm so mad at that. I'm sorry. I know you are. You're not. You're not sorry because you don't care that Liverpool has to win, has to win at home against Arsenal.

I'm sure. All right, the Masters, a tradition unlike any other. Bruce Koepke is 12 under par. Jason Day is in second place right now. Oh, he dropped all the way to seven. He made a double bogey on 15. That's not good.

Can I just declare the Masters over? Sure. Brooks Koepke with the bit in his mouth doesn't lose. Doesn't lose.

Okay. Brooks Koepke will win the Masters and he might win it running away. Hey, good for him. He's a heck of a golfer.

He's a great, oh, he's a tremendous golfer. I'm still waiting to see John Ramte off here at in about nine minutes or so. I'm just curious if we're actually just going to get Masters Monday with all the bad weather coming through the area and through the region. I want Masters Monday.

I want the final round on Monday. I think there is a very good chance we're going to see golf on Monday at Augusta. And on top of that, Tiger Woods must be under par today. The cut line is right now at one over. He is a two over. He must be under par today. Rory McElroy has already packed and I think is leaving Augusta National.

Whether or not his final round, his second round is over or not, he will not make the cut. He got a late check out today. Oh, he did at the Hooters Hotel.

I don't know if there's a Hooters Hotel. Anyway, there you go. Tiger needs to be under par today.

But I think it's over. I think what's kept has got it. He is an absolute beast with the lead. Carolina Panthers have the first pick of the NFL Draft. Seems to me like every mock draft has either Bryce Young or CJ Stroud as the first pick, but there are two other quarterbacks that may or may not figure into the mix. Anthony Richardson, we got a little bit of an insight on yesterday and today it's time to talk a little bit about Will Levis, the Kentucky quarterback by way of Penn State. Oh, an old friend, Matt Jones, Kentucky sports radio superstar everywhere, ESPN radio, restauranteur, joins us, author, potential political candidate, joins us on the Adam Gold show to talk about Will Levis.

Matt, what don't you do? I do a lot. I don't, you didn't even, did you mention that professional wrestling owner? Like that's the thing. Wait, wait, you're a professional wrestler wrestling owner? Yeah, I own a professional wrestling company, Ohio Valley Wrestling, OVW in Louisville, along with me and a couple other people.

I'm speechless, but I did not mention that. I'll tell you, in August on Netflix, you know the show Last Chance You? Yes. You know those shows? Yeah. That director, his next show is he followed us for four months. And so his next show, the guy who did Last Chance You is about OVW, my wrestling company. Good for you, man.

You are, you are one of the absolute. Well, wait, wait until you see it because I'm worried, you know, I haven't been on one of those kinds of shows. I'm worried how I'll look, but beyond all that, here's the irony, Adam.

I am about to get on a plane and fly to North Carolina, literally, as soon as we get off the air. So it all comes together. Maybe Will Levis will be doing that here in a few months. All right. Give me a, you covered him. What do you think of Will Levis?

Not the quarterback just yet, but what do you think about Will Levis, how he handled, uh, really a pressure packed year for him? First of all, I would take him number one. I mean, I think there's a case for, okay.

Yeah. I mean, I think there's a case for Bryce Young. To me, to me, it should either be Bryce Young or Will Levis.

CJ Strad, I think it's very good. I, I, I don't think it's crazy to pick him. I think putting Anthony Richardson into that group is insane. But to me, Bryce Young is his, both his ceiling and his floor are narrower. I don't think Bryce Young is going to be a, a bus, but I also don't think his ceiling is what Will Levis is. Here's the thing about Will Levis best arm in the draft.

I also think a really great leader and a really smart kid there. My only worry with him over the years has been decision-making, but you also have to consider the context of playing at Kentucky without the weapons that Bryce Young and CJ Stroud have. If you're Will Levis and his, in his junior year, he had one good receiver, which was Wandell Robinson. And then last year he had a terrible offensive line and his three starting receivers were all true freshmen. You're going to try to make plays that other guys are not going to need to make.

And so you're going to make some bad decisions. I don't think he does that when he's surrounded by talent that he'll have in the NFL, which he did not have at Kentucky. All right.

Okay. But I do want you to answer the first, the question I asked about how he handled the fact that this year didn't get messed up. Well, first of all, two things go back and look at his tape. If you're, if you're Will Levis, if you're trying to judge Will Levis, the three best defenses he played at Kentucky were both during his junior year, he played, well, excuse me, his junior and junior. He played Georgia twice, once his junior year, once his senior year and Iowa in the bowl game, his junior year, he didn't play his senior year when I played Iowa, go watch those games against teams stacked with NFL defensive players. And he was great. Kirby smart said after his junior year that Will was the best quarterback they played against that year and they played against Bryce young.

So he played excellent in those games. What happened to him this year is that his, he, he didn't handle this year grade. He had a new offensive coordinator, but don't overlook the offensive line. Kentucky had three guys drafted in the, in the draft after his junior year on the offensive line.

And they just couldn't replace them. Teams like Kentucky don't replace offensive lines like that. Darien Kennard is a starting center for the Jaguars, excuse me, Darien Kennard plays with the chiefs, Luke Fortner, starting center for the Jaguars, Logan Stenberg place for the lions. He just, he didn't have those guys. And the offensive line literally, um, I'm, I'm forgetting my guide, Auburn Cole Kublick said that Kentucky had the worst offensive line in the power five last year.

That's who will was playing by Matt Jones, Kentucky sports radio, joining us here on the Adam gold show. That's a great sell job for will Levis as the first overall pick. I actually think that Bryce young, uh, has the highest, actually doesn't have the highest ceiling. I think Anthony Richardson has the highest ceiling, but I also think he obviously has the lowest floor. He has the biggest range. That may be true, but show me when Anthony Richardson was ever good. I can show you, I can show you games that will Levis was awesome. I can't show you games that Anthony Richardson was awesome.

So I do think that's a huge, huge difference. Will Levis has done it over and over and over Anthony Richardson did not now Anthony, which is insane athlete, but like to comparing to cam Newton or Michael Vick or, or Lamar Jackson, that's so unfair to those guys. Those guys were stars in college. Anthony Richardson wasn't even good. He had like two good games in college. Will Levis was good in college and obviously Bryce young and CJ Stroud were excellent in college. That's why I just don't think Anthony Richardson should even be in the I'd rather have Hendon hooker at Tennessee than Anthony Richardson and Hendon hooker, I think has a lot.

I mean, he's hurt right now, but has a lot of upside as well. Well, you bring up somebody that, um, I actually said this the other day, uh, and I didn't, I was not using will Levis to be disparaging to will Levis. But what I said was if Hendon hooker looked like will Levis, we would be talking about Hendon hooker, even with the injury as a first round pick wheels.

If I had wheels, I'd be a wagon. I mean, his arm is a lot better. Will Levis.

Yes. And again, he didn't hookers playing with two guys that are going to be top two round draft picks this year. His two wide receivers were amazing this year.

Now that doesn't mean he's not good, but we'll never got to play with those guys. Go back to his junior year. He played with one Dell Robinson, a third round pick, and he had three offensive line that went to the NFL. And he was great this year in the old miss game, he gets hurt in the fifth game and they tell him you're not running the ball again. And he didn't run his junior. He had nine touchdowns on his, with his legs. He didn't run the ball his senior year and that made him less effective, but they didn't want to get him hurt. They didn't want to lose him for the season. So I just think people that judge will based on his production this year and have some good games this year.

I just don't think they're being fair. Here's all you got to know. When, when will Levis was out for Kentucky, they played South Carolina at home and they had 62 yards of offense without Will Levis. With Will Levis, they were seven and five and a bowl team nearly beat old miss on the road, played Georgia strong. I just don't see what people don't like about the kid at this point.

Well, I think people do like him. I have not seen a mock draft where he gets lower than the seven. There's a couple of my drafts that came out a week or two ago. He's not even the first round really. And I just don't, I don't, I don't under the bleacher report one, I think had that. And there was one more.

I just don't understand where that stuff comes from. I get Bryce. If I'm the Panthers, I probably take Bryce Young because it's the easiest gamble, but I will know nobody his size has ever succeeded in the NFL ever. I'm not saying he won't.

It's a different game now, but nobody has. It's not just my size. It's his weight. Yeah. Right.

The combination. It's the combination of his weight and his size. I mean, he's as skinny as Peyton Manning was, but Peyton Manning was tall. He's both skinny and short.

Right. But with that said, I probably would take him because you don't want to have a bust if you're the Panthers, but the idea that you eat, if I had the fourth pick and I'm the Colts or whoever ends up having that, I there's no way I'm not taking will lettuce because at his peak, he's Josh Allen. Could he fail? Yeah, he could fail, but I don't think he fails if given the right system and the right talent around him because when he was, remember Kentucky football has sucked all my life. And my junior year, or excuse me, his junior year, they play Georgia at Georgia. The game was close in the fourth quarter and that was the national championship team.

I think you got to put that as a will. Levis. He's the reason why that was the case. Final thing before you board a plane to come to where I am in North Carolina, Matt Jones, Kentucky sports radio. What were you, what have your interactions, uh, or somebody that, you know, that you're close with your interactions been like with lettuce, love the kid, very confident, bordering on cocky. And when you first meet him, you either think that's awesome or it can be a little off-putting. Um, his teammates love him, but it was when he first got here, there was a little like, who's this guy walking around with all this swagger. I think that's why you've heard some reports that maybe the interviews didn't go great with him at first at the combine.

He's one of these people that when the first time you meet him, you're not sure about him, but like the second and third time you like him each time more. So I think whoever gets him, that fan base will fall in love with the guy and the other fans will hate him. Just like Louisville, Tennessee fans, et cetera, et cetera. I hated him here in Kentucky.

I wonder why Louisville or Tennessee fans would hate anybody from Kentucky. Uh, Matt Jones, Kentucky sports radio, restauranteur, wrestling, uh, league owner. Gosh, you're amazing. Uh, thanks for coming on, man. I'll talk to you soon. Good to hear from you. You too. Take care. That's Matt Jones. Wow. What a dude.

All right. So covering him in college is one thing. What about being there at the beginning, the developmental stage? So we'll talk to the head, uh, his football coach in high school and we bring in a former Xavier high school coach, Greg Jaskot. Uh, he's from Connecticut. Uh, and I keep hearing comparisons and, uh, Matt Jones just made it to Josh Allen.

So when you hear that, what do you think about it? Uh, well, you know, I hate, I hate to compare Will to Josh Allen, who's been doing it, you know, for quite a few years, but Will is a tremendous talent has been, uh, since I met him quite a few years ago. Um, do I see some similarities in, in style of play for sure. Um, you know, I think he's, uh, like I said, a tremendous talent built very similarly, I would say, uh, moves well, uh, does well in the pocket on the run, uh, has a tremendous arm, uh, as you get a short scene, college highlights.

Um, yeah, I do understand the similarities and the, you know, the comparisons, but I personally don't like to compare the two because it's, you know, setting some expectations for a guy that's been in the business and doing it for a few years now. So what was it like to coach him in high school? What, what was his development like? Well, it was, it was pretty obvious from day one that he had the, you know, the intangibles of talent, the arm strength. Um, you know, it's, it's always interesting when you coach high school kids to see their development from their freshman year through their senior year. Um, but you know, it was pretty obvious to us that we'll had, had the, you know, quote unquote, hit factor, uh, in terms of playing the position, uh, very bright, um, you know, great decision maker, uh, very, you know, did very well in the classroom and the film room, things of that nature. And that was, you know, very easy to see as a young guy. Um, and as he, you know, matured through his sophomore, junior, senior seasons, you know, just in, uh, kind of took off from there. Um, but the talent was very obvious to all of us when he walked in the door. Um, and like I said, he's just a tremendous worker. Um, and he's a great desire to succeed.

And I have no doubt in my mind that he'll continue to do that, you know, as he moves up through the ranks. When did he become the starter? He was named the starter his sophomore year. Um, he came up and did some work with us as freshman year as well. Um, when he was named the starter, beat out two kids that were older than him, uh, his sophomore year. And how was the, what was the dynamic like the leadership dynamic for that position for an underclassman, uh, at, uh, on a high school team? Well, you know, I've had something I talk with our quarterbacks about all the time.

I mean, regardless of your age, you have to have command of the huddle command of the room. You have to, you know, earn the respect of your teammates. And he did that, um, quite honestly, I think he started to do that as freshman year when he came up in practice with us quite a bit. Um, but he, he had, he earned their respect in that he, you know, was 110% all the time, whether we were in the weight room on the practice field game day, you know, everything he did was, um, you know, 110% and he certainly earned the respect of the older kids pretty quickly. Um, and you know, look, kids are, kids are smart and they, they see the talent as well.

And it was evidence of those guys, the ability that he had. We're talking where Greg Jaskin who coached, uh, Will Levis in high school. How did he handle the recruiting process?

I thought it was in recruiting processes is tough for anyone nowadays. Uh, I thought we'll handle it pretty well. Um, you know, it moves at different paces and once it picked up for him, you know, for any kid, I would say it gets pretty stressful, but, you know, Will and I had some great conversations throughout, um, you know, and, and he knew what he wanted. He had goals he set for himself and, um, you know, we spoke about those often, uh, but he had great conversations with several programs.

And, um, like I said, eventually it took off when we received a ton of offers. And, um, as I said, it's a stressful, you know, stressful situation for a high school kid to have to go through, but I thought he handled it pretty well. Where's that with Greg Jaskin is the high school, was the high school coach of Will Levis. What do you think the best quality, uh, that he possesses that will allow him to develop in the NFL? I think he's a leader and I, I, in every sense of the word, you know, he cares about his teammates. He cares about his performance.

Um, he cares about the people around him. He's a tremendous worker. Um, and he, he strives to not only get the best out of himself, but the people around them as well. And I think that, you know, obviously you're talking to the highest level of football in the NFL, but I think that other guys will respect that he's always willing to go the extra mile. How does he get, how, how was he able to kind of rally teammates? Same thing again, I think just, just earning their respect by his, you know, his work ethic and showcasing his abilities and, you know, being the first guy in last guy out type of mentality. And he's been that way since he was a young, young guy here at Xavier. Um, and I think that's only going to continue. I know it's going to continue as he gets to the next level here in a few weeks. Greg Jaskin, Will Levis's high school football coach is joining us here on the Adam Gold Show. Do you have a, a moment when you knew that he was different than anybody else maybe you've ever coached?

Um, I mean, I could probably think about that and pick out quite a few. Um, but the one in particular, when I knew we had a little bit of the, the it factor was his freshman year. I remember, um, standing behind the end zone during one of the freshman games and he, he threw a, a slant pass that a lot of young 14 year old kids couldn't make, you know, through the, through the teeth of the defend, defenders.

And, uh, I remember sitting back there and thinking, there's not a lot of 14 year old kids that have a, the ability to do it, but be the confidence to do it at that age. I mean, when, when that moment happens as a coach, what's going through your head? Well, obviously there's a lot of excitement here. You know, you, as a coach, you're always ready to work with every kid, every ability. Um, but obviously there's a lot of excitement when you have a kid that has that raw talent and you hope to help develop it and help them reach past his potential. And did he, did his personality change as everything started happening around him, for him, about him? Did, uh, you know, what kind of, what kind of a person, uh, is he and how did he handle all of the extra attention?

I think he handled it very well. I mean, I, I have a, I have a very good relationship with Will and he seems to be the same guy he was when he was a kid. I mean, listen, these kids come in here as 14 year olds, um, you know, often shy and hesitant, but will always have that confidence. He wasn't afraid to talk to people, make new, you know, build new relationships. I mean, we're talking about a kid that did, you know, went on a service trip to Guatemala when he was a junior or senior. Um, the kid, he wants to be a part of the community. He's a part of in every way.

Um, and I don't, I don't see him change being changed one bit since, uh, since we first met him when he was 13, 14 years old. Greg Jaskett, Will Leveson's high school football coach at G Jaskett on Twitter. I thank you so much for your time. Uh, next time you talk to Will, tell him, uh, good luck for us and we'll talk to you soon. I will do that. I appreciate it.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-07 17:30:15 / 2023-04-07 17:42:42 / 12

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