Will Levis, after the NFL free-fall draft, was taken in the second round by the Titans

Toron DavenportESPN4 minutes to read

Giants trade to pick Will Levis

The Titans trade up to the 33rd draft pick for Kentucky QB Will Levis.

After dropping out of the first round of the NFL Draft, Will Levis has found a home with the Tennessee Titans, who traded Friday night to pick the former Kentucky quarterback with the 33rd overall pick.

After not taking a first-round quarterback on Thursday, the Titans made a solid move for a potential future quarterback one night later by agreeing to a trade with the Arizona Cardinals, who earned a second-round pick (No. 41 overall) and a third-round pick (No. 72). ) in this year’s draft and third round in 2024.

“Last night was tough,” said Levis. “I knew what was meant to happen would happen. It’s one of those things where you feel like you’re going to treat yourself and shine, but then the waterworks start flowing and the feelings get overwhelming.”

The Titans also received a third-round pick (81st) from the Cardinals to land over Levis, who was widely expected to be a first-round pick on Thursday but was still available before the second round on Friday.

Levis, who left Kansas City, Missouri, to fly home Friday, said he was “thrilled” to receive a call from the Titans, who also hosted him for a preseason visit.

“I ended up where I was supposed to be, and I’m looking forward to competing and getting started,” he said.

Levis becomes the fourth quarterback selected in this year’s draft and joins Houston’s C.J. Stroud (2nd overall pick) and Indianapolis’ Anthony Richardson (No. 4) as the starting signal callers in the AFC South.

“These are my buddies,” said Levis. “I was very happy to see them go where they did. As long as they don’t play me, I wish them the best. [It’s] Definitely it would be great to have so many young midfielders in this department.”

Levis completed 65.4% of his passes last season at Kentucky for 2,406 yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The two-time captain finished his career with a 17-7 record as a starter, tying Terry Wilson for the second-most wins by a quarterback since 1993.

With veteran Ryan Tannehill expected to be the Titans’ starting starter this season, Levis will get the opportunity to spend a year in a replacement role. At age 35, Tannehill has a two-year, voidable contract totaling $9.2 million in cap fees after the 2023 season.

Barring any setbacks, Levi’s will take over as a starter in 2024 if the Giants cancel the remaining two years in the Tannehill deal. Meanwhile, the Levi’s will compete with Tennessee’s 2022 third-round pick, Malik Willis, to serve as the backup to Tannehill under new offensive coordinator Tim Kelly.

“I just want to learn from them,” Leavis said of Tannehill and Willis. “They already have a lot of experience and they will be able to teach me a lot of things. I just want to be a great teammate for them. … I just want to make sure I do everything I can to help the team win.”

Levis said his toe is feeling fine after experiencing “a sore foot” in the second half of last season. He sat out Kentucky’s final game, a 21-0 loss to Iowa in the Music City Bowl.

“My feet are something I feel is one of the strengths of my game,” said Levis. “Not to have that, it sucks. But I mean, that’s the nature of this game.”

Levis said he had his toe checked out by some of the best podiatrists in the country, and added that his toe has been 100 percent since early February.

The Titans kicked off their draft Thursday night by tackling Northwestern’s Peter Skowronski 11th overall as they continued to rebuild their offensive line.

This is the second consecutive draft that the Giants have traded and drafted a quarterback. Former general manager John Robinson, who was fired in December, was traded last year to bring Willis out of Liberty 86th overall.

Willis started three of the eight games he played in, and threw for 276 yards with three interceptions and no touchdowns before being benched for Joshua Dobbs, who was signed on December 21 to help get Tennessee into the playoffs.

Tannehill passed for 2,536 yards with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions last season.

Information from the Associated Press is used in this report.

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