Despite not being selected, Ryan Leaf says Will Levis was the ‘Biggest Winner’ from Day One/Round One of the NFL Draft

Infamous NFL Draft bust says undrafted Will Levis ‘won’ Round 1
from Victor Barbosa, with

Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf said Friday that Will Levis was the biggest winner of the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday, despite not being selected.

Leaf — one of the biggest busts in NFL Draft history — argued that, despite many experts having Levis as a top-10 pick on night one, “most people” didn’t have a “first-round grade” for the former Kentucky Wildcat, meaning that if he was selected in the opening round, it could be viewed as a “reach.”

“If he were a top-five pick, the word ‘bust,’ if it doesn’t work out, is something I can relate to, and it sticks with you and it can wear as an anchor for some time,” Leaf said on “Good Morning Football” on Friday morning.

Many pundits are still expecting Levis to be taken early in the second round on Friday, and Leaf pointed out that there have been multiple recent examples of NFL star signal-callers who were second-round selections, such as Derek Carr and Drew Brees.

“You have quarterbacks that don’t have those unrealistic expectations, therefore, there may be a little bit of ease,” Leaf added.

After finishing third in the 1997 Heisman Trophy voting, Leaf was selected second overall by the San Diego Chargers in 1998. The now-46-year-old lasted just four seasons in the NFL though and is thought by some to be the biggest draft bust in league history.

Levis’ big arm and playmaking ability are obvious, ranking fifth in the SEC in passing yards per attempt (8.5) last season, but some teams may have been scared off due to his on-field decision-making. Levis had a whopping 23 interceptions over his two seasons a starter with Kentucky, including a conference-high 13 during the 2021 campaign.