ESPN: Bucs Draft Will Levis

April 26th, 2023

Bucs bound?

Well, it seems one Bucs beat writer isn’t convinced Tampa Bay will draft an offensive lineman at No. 19.

ESPN had their NFL beat reporters select who their respective teams will draft in the first round tomorrow night

In this mock draft format, Jenna Laine said the Bucs will bring in Kentucky quarterback Will Levis to join the competition between Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask.

While offensive tackle and edge rusher are the Bucs’ biggest draft needs, general manager Jason Licht said he “wouldn’t be afraid to take another quarterback.” Oklahoma offensive tackle Anton Harrison would be a solid fit for new offensive coordinator Dave Canales’ wide zone scheme, but in this scenario, Levis at No. 19 was too good to pass up. This makes for a true three-way competition to be Tom Brady’s successor with Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask.

Joe doesn’t even think Levis was the second-best quarterback in the SEC last year. If Hendon Hooker is still on the board, Joe couldn’t give a reason why Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht would pick Levis over Hooker.

Watch the tape and it’s not even close between these guys.

There’s also the fact that Bucs coach Todd Bowles is 0-2 in developing quarterbacks drafted in the first two rounds (0-3 if you count Trask).

The Picks Are In! Ira Talks Insider Chatter And Joins The Ultimate Mock Draft Episode With JoeBucsFan Draft Guru Sean Sullivan

69 Responses to “ESPN: Bucs Draft Will Levis”

  1. Hoopstar82 Says:

    Hendon hooker had 10 times the talent than will levis and will Levis ran a pro style offense unlike Hendon hooker

  2. Joe in Michigan Says:

    QB next year, IMHO.

  3. Leopold Stotch Says:

    Good lord, I think I’d be sick if this happens.

  4. TDTB2022 Says:

    In Licht we trust!

  5. SB~LV Says:

    BS .. they don’t know
    Double click bate

  6. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Bucs will draft OT or a TE that plays like an OT in Darnell Washington for Canales run heavy style offense. Running the ball well begins and ends with the talent or lack thereof of your Oline-PERIOD.

  7. Hodad Says:

    Jenna disappoints me here. You can’t have a three way QB competition, not enough reps. She should understand that. The Bucs also have a high pick, and two years invested in Trask, they’re not throwing that away. If you pick a QB in the first round there is no longer a competition. Eventually he’s going to start. That doesn’t do much for Trask, or Baker’s hopes of being the Bucs future. If your new offense wants to run the ball more anyway, why the rush to draft a QB? Better off drafting Robinson, or O line.

  8. Duane Says:

    So tell me, which position has Jason Licht declared he would never draft?

    C’mon, tell me.

    Of course when asked if JL will draft any particular position, he’ll say yes. Hell, he’d probably even say he’d draft a kicker with the no. 19 pick if asked that.

    What does it cost a GM to say he’d be willing to draft any particular position, besides nothing.

  9. Lt. Dan Says:

    Definitely Hooker over Levis for all the reasons Joe has been pointing out. Added bonus for Lt. Dan..Hookers last name reminds Lt. Dan of his time spent in Bangkok.

  10. bob in valrico Says:

    IMO, the successful NFL drafted QB’ s have already developed the skills needed to play in the NFL. They just need fine tuning and good coaching. Understanding the offense and NFL defenses is where coaching comes in, but every prospect
    doesn’t learn at the same pace. As an example, the offensive guru John Gruden
    wasn’t known for developing rookie QB’s either.

  11. bob in valrico Says:

    Hodad is right, how many snaps did Trask get last year? He had littlr chance to compete with the backups. Third QB seems to be on the roster to take snaps during preseason.

  12. Tvan101 Says:

    Will Levis offensive coordinator last year was terrible and fired after the season. He is tough as nails ans has a connon for an arm, I’ll take him over Hooker a 25yr old with an acl repair.

  13. lambchop Says:

    Jenna Laine has been a disappointment as a Bucs beat writer. I can’t recall a time where she didn’t crawl under someone’s skin at 1 Buc or Bucs fans.

    The Bucs are not wasting a 1st Rd pick on a QB with so many other needs. We have to let Baker Mayfield bake and Kyle Trask sulk.

    What is the point of playing musical chairs? You don’t bring a known locker room malcontent to sit him on the bench to blow up your team. The Bucs have faith that he has never had the offensive weapons that we have in his entire career. He doesn’t have to be Tom Brady to succeed.

  14. HC Grover Says:

    The Bowles Curse

  15. lambchop Says:

    Kyle Trask will only see the field in a blowout, if Baker sucks, or if Baker gets hurt. And that’s fine. Let’s see what the kid can do then. But, if he can’t beat out Blaine Gabbert, I’m not holding my breath. Every Trask homer thinks the Bucs drafted him so that can force him to sit on the bench. No, he’s just a slow learner and may well be another college QB from Florida that could only play in college.

    If anything, the Bucs did him a favor by not re-signing Gabbert, so he could move up the depth by default.

  16. Roc Says:

    Give Baker a Big Strong OLine I bet the Bucs win

  17. Jeagan1999 Says:

    Levis will be gone by pick 12.

  18. JN Says:

    Buc that! Need OL, DL, Edge or trade down. Sorry Jenna. And I think he will be long gone anyway.

  19. dls5492 Says:

    This is why BSPN is a joke.

  20. FortMyersDave Says:

    I think Jenna probably just grabbed the best player left on Kiper’s big board when it was her turn to draft at 19 after 18 other teams picked and likely grabbed all the available OT talent which is worthy of a first round pick.

    As for Levis, I am down with everyone else on this post: bad pick. As Chucky once said, never draft a weight lifter. If all the OT’s Licht has targeted are gone by 19, think trading down a bit to get a day 2 pick and first rounder in the 20s. I do not know if Licht will draft Hooker though he is certainly a better option than Levis. I doubt if Bowels wants to waste the first rounder on someone who will not be ready to play until 2024 when Bowels could be long gone if the Bucs go belly up and lose double digits. Bowels will be begging Licht to get a plug and play starter to fill a hole at OT or on the Edge.

  21. Beej Says:

    Guarantee BOWLES doesn’t want a qb, no rookie QB is going to contribute to a winning season THIS year. Ya have to think no winning season EVER preys on his mind

  22. ocala Says:

    I think if the opportunity is right the Bucs should take a QB. They should look at doing it every year until they find an elite one. However, Levis is very inaccurate with the football at the college level and that usually does not translate well to the NFL. I would much rather the Bucs draft Hooker since he is accurate.

  23. Iron-Wombat Says:

    If the bucs take a QB in the first 2 rounds Trask isn’t competing for the starting job. He may not even make the team.

  24. Dooley Says:

    Not a fan of drafting Levis, but I could totally see Licht pulling the trigger on Will Levis. Can’t forget, what we as fans see as team needs/priority, doesn’t necessarily speak for how Licht and the Bucs draft team sees needs/priority in terms of positional value or their draft board. My suggestion is be prepared, because this draft could go a lot of different ways and generate a few surprises.

  25. PewterPride Says:

    I hope all the qb’s are taken before we pick, that just increases the odds the OT we want will be available.

  26. TDTB2022 Says:

    Good job with podcast!

    Thanks Ira for shifting the conversation at the right time. I like you keeping your podcast professional. Your podcast is not TMZ material. You make this website better.

    Good job Shawn!

    Go Bucs!!!

  27. Alstott up the gut Says:

    As we get closer to the draft, I am starting to think the OTs will be off the board and I agree a QB might actually complicate that position room. I really dont have a solid wish list on who I want because a DT (Hall), Edge (JTS), and QB (Trask), are all admitting high value picks in the recent past were misses. Im ready to agree to Brian Branch and have the best CB group in the league!

  28. Duane Says:

    Alstott – well, however it goes with the OTs, the Bucs are likely to draft the best available player at a position of need. If an OT that they wanted is not available, the Bucs certainly have other positions of need, such as defensive end, and interior linebacker considering that White wants out and David is likely done after this season. A guard would be nice too, along with a running back.

    All of those needs exceed our need for another quarterback in the room competing for a limited number of snaps in pre-season.

  29. ChiBuc Says:

    Imo, a lot of teams are pumping up these meh to above average QBs in the hope that a day 1 starting OT is on the board when they pick. This is NFL GMs’ world poker tournament, so any “info leaks” are all smoke and mirror.

  30. BucsFanSince1996 Says:

    The Bucs need another QB or two for training camp. I predict they’ll draft one in the 7th round or pick up an undrafted free agent.

    They would only pick one at #19 if they truly believe he can be the QB for the next 5 or 10 years.

  31. gotbbucs Says:

    Levis falling to 19 would be Bucs best case scenario and he would by far represent the best value they could hope for at that pick, not only if they choose to pick him, but also in a trade down scenario.

    Levis is way easier to scout than Hooker. Hooker was terrible at Virginia Tech, transfered to Tennessee to play in the Air Raid offense which historically has QBs putting up video game stats and doesn’t force them to make any defensive reads. He played with at least two or three times the talent that Levis was playing with at Kentucky and he’s the same age as Kyler Murray, who’s already playing on his second NFL contract. All that, and he’s coming off of ACL surgery. Hooker no doubt has plenty of arm talent, but that means nothing if you have no idea how to throw with anticipation and read a defense, and teams don’t have a good idea of how well he can do either of those things because he was never forced to do it in college. He was essentially only looking at one side of the field with a predetermined read coming from the sideline on most plays.

    Joe was he’ll bent on drafting Manziel, I’ll take his QB choice with a grain of salt.

  32. Power of Pewter Says:

    I don’t see the Bucs drafting a QB in R1. Firstly, the Buc’s track record of developing young QBs is abysmal… both SB titles were with a veteran FA at QB. Secondly, a QB drafted in the first round is expected to start…which makes the signing of Mayfield a waste of cap space. Thirdly, a three-way QB competition means less reps for each, and less oportunity for the coaching staff to evaluate them.
    Bucs need an OT that will anchor the end of the line for the next decade. They are rarely available in FAcy, and are top dollar when they do hit FAcy. Bucs don’t currently have a good prospect in the pipeline, so drafting one who can start immediately is priority… that means in first round. Bucs do also need DL and Edge, so those are R1 possibilities (particularly if Bucs trade down), but those positions are generally easier to fill.

  33. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    JL is the worst as the bucs Bspn reporter and where did she come from to get that job; glad that this site is here for real information on the bucs and not her political spin on her questions etc. The bucs draft Levis then there are so many problems in the future for the bucs. Wasnt Josh Freeman drafted in 17-21 area and he turned out awesome. Why isn’t IRA the ESPN reporter for BSPN

  34. Dom N. Nick Says:

    Trade down if he is still available and let someone else take the BIG risk

  35. Bobby M. Says:

    A QB needy team might trade up….I think that’s the objective in Licht making that statement. We have much higher needs and can snag a quality starter at o-line or secondary. The RB Robinson is IMO the only wild card to our draft. He’s simply too good to pass on and we want to run the ball more effectively.

  36. Thomas Edrington Says:

    Main reason you don’t draft a QB: Bucs will have a new head coach next year and he’ll want HIS QB………Bowels and his staff are Dead Men Drafting…

  37. Rand Says:


  38. Scott Says:

    If we pick him and he busts I think Licht will be on thin ice. We have way more pressing needs than QB

  39. Jfan Says:

    I think the top four tackles are gone by 19 and so are the QBs. There is some great value on defense in this pick 15-20 area. Draft the best defense player edge, line or safety or even LB on the board at 19 and get a O tackle in round 2 or 3. Going QB here makes no sense.

  40. catcard202 Says:

    Watch the tape…Hmmm.

    Huepel/Tenn run the wide hash stack, ultra-tempo spread system that stresses the hell out of a college DEF (but is not compatible w/ the NFL in any way)…& Hooker’s 2022 supporting cast included a Day1 OT that Joe has been pumping to TB for weeks + a set of Day1/2 WR’s…All 3 of which could be off the Big Board before Hooker…Not sure who threw to more wide ass open WR’s…Hooker or Stroud…But sure didn’t see a ton of NFL tight window throws or many 2nd option progression reads from HH…PFF lists 16 total over last 2 yrs..(IE…Almost every throw was to his 1st read!!! )…While going 15-8 as a starter at TENN in 2yrs.

    UK ran 2 different derivative of the Shanahan NFL system in 2yrs, w/ Levis’ 2022 supporting cast consisting of the Worst Pass Blocking OL in P5 conference ball, 4 FR (3 TFR) among top 5 targets & might have 1 guy get a late Day3 flier (RB). Saw a ton of pressure, was under constant duress, instantly clasping pockets and limited WR separation, making for a ton of NFL tight window throws…While showing himself to be the best 3rd down QB in college FB, putting up better Comp % under pressure than Hooker/Stroud/Young or AR…And did so playing on a grade 3 turf toe….While going 17-7 as a starter at UK in 2yrs.

    Both have pro’s & con’s…But to me, Levis’ game translates better to the NFL & specifically better to the system Bucs are about to be running under Canales.

  41. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Based on the handful of games I’ve seen from all the QBs, I think B Young / CJ Stroud / Levis / Hooker could all be franchise QBs worth top 15 picks.

    I’d be OK with any of those 4 at 19.

    I only saw Richardson in the FSU game so I wouldn’t draft till like 3rd or 4th round maybe lol.

    And if the Lions can take a WR at #11 last year who was coming off major injury and wasn’t supposed to play much, you can sure as hell bet a team will draft a QB that high even if he won’t play until 2024, if they believe in that QB being a legit franchise prospect. Especially teams that don’t plan to be picking high in 2024 (which is usually all of them regardless of reality)

  42. SOEbuc Says:

    Going to the Jenna card, Joe. Every PC question from her is still about Brady. Bucs need to build depth at other needed positions like OL and DB and get a third string QB late.

  43. Joe Swanson Says:

    If they draft a quarterback they might as well trade Trask because your telling him you will never be a starter in Tampa.

  44. ATLBuc Says:

    Check the archives! Joe has already reported that the Bucs value Trask more than Will Levis

  45. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Levis left Penn State as soon as he found out he would not be the starter!
    I pray to God we do not draft him!
    Herndon Hooker will be a much better pick

  46. Since76 Says:

    So many people have faith in baker. Besides the fact he has failed since college. I hope canoles has the canoles to put the best player on the field who ever it might be.

  47. Craig Says:

    So it’s ESPN when you like what they are saying and BSPN when you don’t. Okay boomer.

    Just say NO to Levis, he will set the Bucs back 5 years, like Zach Wilson, Danny Dimes, Sam Darnold, or Jameis.

    Just good enough to be able to see potential, not good enough to get past 8-9.

    Been there, done that. Test drive a Trask and see how it goes while filling in the biggest holes.

  48. Joe Says:

    So it’s ESPN when you like what they are saying and BSPN when you don’t.

    Who said Joe wants the Bucs to draft Will Levis????????????????????

    When exactly did Joe type such a thing?

  49. Brandon Says:

    Joe’s opinions on rookie QBs have proven to be worthless. Huge fan of Manziel… now a 25 year old coming off a torn ACL that struggled in his three years at Virginia Tech. Levis’s Kentucky tape and results are far better than Hooker’s were at Tech… oh… and Levis was the same age as Hooker was at Tech. If Levis were to play an additional two years and go to a gimmick offense loaded with talent like Tennessee, his performance would put Hooker’s to shame.

  50. Brandon Says:

    Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:
    April 26th, 2023 at 9:30 am
    Levis left Penn State as soon as he found out he would not be the starter!
    I pray to God we do not draft him!
    Herndon Hooker will be a much better pick


    You know Hooker wasn’t exactly the second coming of Peyton Manning at Virginia Tech before he transferred, right? By your own logic, Hooker is trash. He was marginal at Tech.

  51. Cobraboy Says:

    Liars’ Poker…

  52. Cobraboy Says:

    Levis = Bo Callahan

  53. Duane Says:

    The team wants to improve on their running game. Lamar is the only QB available that can do that. As this is the case, the team is going to select a lineman, rb, or tight end with that pick. A good running game does help young quarterbacks, but we would be putting the horse before the cart by pretending we have one of those .

  54. gotbbucs Says:

    You all know that the odds makers in Vegas are starting to move Will Levis into the first pick in this draft right?

  55. Goatfarmer Says:

    Bwaaaaaaaaahaaaaahahahaaaahaaaaaaa…………..not happening. The network that used to be good showing why they have fallen so far.

  56. Buc1987 Says:

    You forgot to mention he eats banana peels too 🙂

  57. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    Jenna is a joke of a reporter. She belongs on TMZ. I hope this is based on BSPN’s desire for social media engagement and not intel from the Bucs.

  58. Beej Says:

    Well she’s hot

  59. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Jenna is def not Hot and one of the worst bucs beaters; and I am guessing that Licht uses her when he wants to send out his super duhmb stuff out in the public

  60. BUCman Says:

    Agreed, Jenna is a joke reporter!! And no she is not hot! She’s a shallow, narcissistic girl playing dress up. She has no clue what she is talking about or reporting on. She is definitely swimming in the wrong pool. Her football IQ is so low it can’t be measured. Ugh!!!

  61. Colonel Angus Says:


  62. sasquatch Says:

    Levis will be drafted before 19, and we’re not trading up for him. If we were hot for him, I’m guessing we would have heard serious rumblings of a move up to the top 10. The only move up talk we’ve heard thus far has been speculative. And the more recent sourced rumors say that inquiries made for the Bucs to trade up were not met with much interest.

    If Levis gets to 19, I’d bet we’ll be getting some interest to trade out and pick up more draft capital. I’d take it.

  63. SOEbuc Says:

    Craig…lol. I said that the other day. JBF articles referencing nattys talking Bucs “BSPN.” That doesn’t go well with your credibility Joe.

  64. Goatfarmer Says:

    Jenna sometimes reminds me of one of Diva White’s horses.

  65. unbelievable Says:

    Obviously Trask doesn’t count… we had Tom Brady lol.

    That just seems like a dig at Bowles.

    As for drafting a QB, unless you genuinely think one of these guys are doing to be the next Mahomes / Burrows / etc., it just doesn’t make sense. Trask and Mayfield are both young guys under 25/26 years old right? And Baker is the only one with experience.

    So how does a QB room where 2 out of 3 guy have never taken a snap (or more than 9 snaps in garbage time) in the NFL make any sense?

    It doesn’t. Unless of course, you think the guy you draft is a generational talent.

  66. Mike Johnson Says:

    A young QB fresh out of college might be nice. But we simply got to many holes to plug up on this piece meal team. We desperately need an OT, A DE, and a CB amongst other positions. Wait for the QB next year. The way things are looking, Bowles might not survive after this season. Might be a new coach who will pick his new QB.

  67. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    Jenna Nancy Drew Laine is funny

  68. garro Says:

    Look Jenna
    You obviously dont want to be taken seriously anymore.
    BSPN must pay very well for yo to give up all integrity.

  69. garro Says:

    Dusthty Rhothdes Says:
    April 26th, 2023 at 9:02 am

    “Why isn’t IRA the ESPN reporter for BSPN”

    LOL because Ira will tell it like it is and won’t sell out at the cost of his honor and integrity!