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Team insecurities may have fueled the Will Levis slide

After three quarterbacks were selected in Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft, Mike Florio and Chris Simms dissect if Will Levis’ agent should’ve had better information about where he would be selected.

No one expected it. Especially not Will Levis.

But it happened. He tumbled all the way out of round one. Based on his comments from last month’s Pro Day workout, Levis wouldn’t have shown up if he’d known what was awaiting him.

“If I get invited, and like if I know like I’ll be a pretty high pick, I’ll definitely go,” he said at the time as to whether he’ll show up for the draft. “I’m looking forward to going, but I don’t want to go if like I could be like a second-round pick, you know? You don’t wanna be that -- don’t wanna have the camera just on you all day.”

He went, he fell, and he had the camera on him all day. The league surely liked it, even if at some point along the way there was chatter about not emphasizing the fact that players were falling in round one.

So what happened? Word emerged during the first round (but, curiously, not before it) of a toe issue that was causing some teams to back away. That might only be part, if any, of the story. (One G.M. told PFT on Friday that the toe excuse is “bullshit.”)

As one seasoned and experienced personnel evaluator explained it on Friday morning, teams can become very insecure about making their own evaluations. “Once a player starts to fall,” the source said, “they question themselves.”

The source also predicts that 20 to 25 teams had a first-round grade on Levis, even if none would admit it now.

It makes for an interesting Friday night. Will someone try to trade up to No. 32 with the Steelers? To No. 33 with the Cardinals?

Will the Lions take him at No. 34?

There’s also a chance the slide will continue, and that someone will perhaps even take Herndon Hooker before Levis is picked.