Every year the NFL Draft is full of surprises and the 2023 draft was no different.

But perhaps the biggest of the night was the fact that Will Levis, who earlier this week was the favorite to be the second overall pick, didn’t even make it in the first round.

Earlier this week, a Reddit rumor claimed that Levis was telling people that the Carolina Panthers would take him with the first overall pick on Thursday night. Sportsbooks took note, as Levis’ odds of being the first pick went from plus-4000 to 4-1.


Kentucky quarterback Will Levis (7) holds the ball in the second half of an NCAA college football game against South Carolina, Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina. (AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.)

Levis did not confirm or deny the rumor, but downplayed it.

He was asked a day later if it was true and responded with an adage as old as the World Wide Web.

«All I’ve said is don’t believe everything you read on the internet,» he said Wednesday.

It’s a big surprise, though, that he looks fully assured of a top-five finish, and now, he’ll have to return to the green room for one more day.

The bad night for Levis began when the Houston Texans’ smokescreens faded and they selected Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud with the second overall pick, which had long been the consensus until recently.

Will Levis passes against Georgia

Will Levis #7 of the Kentucky Wildcats against the Georgia Bulldogs at Kroger Field on November 19, 2022 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

NFL Draft 2023: WHAT TO KNOW

But two picks later, the Indianapolis Colts selected Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson, thus beginning the free fall.

The Atlanta Falcons, who currently have competition with Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinecke, selected running back Bijan Robinson at No. 8. Ryan Tannehill’s Tennessee Titans at No. 11 went with offensive lineman Peter Skoronski, and the Washington Commanders For now, they are sticking with Sam Howell after they took cornerback Emmanuel Forbes.

All eyes were on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the 19th pick after Tom Brady’s retirement, but they went with Pittsburgh defensive tackle Calijah Kancey.

The Minnesota Vikings could have taken Kirk Cousins’ successor, but instead they went with wide receiver Jordan Addison. After that, no one else exactly needed a quarterback.

Will Levis pitches against Missouri

Will Levis #7 of the Kentucky Wildcats throws a pass during the second half against the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium on November 5, 2022 in Columbia, Missouri. (Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images)


Of course, they will take Levis, but it remains to be seen where he will take his talents.

In his two full seasons as Kentucky quarterback (24 games), Levis threw for 5,232 yards, 33 touchdowns and 23 interceptions with a 65.7 completion percentage.