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Mel Kiper Jr. says he would take Will Levis with No. 2 pick before CJ Stroud

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Mel Kiper Jr. says he would take Will Levis with No. 2 pick before CJ Stroud

ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has not been shy with his support of Will Levis. But his latest claim on the Kentucky quarterback is sure to raise more than a few eyebrows.

After fellow ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay predicted Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud to go No. 2 overall to the Houston Texans in a SportsCenter tag-team mock draft special, Kiper was asked who he would take. He didn’t hesitate before saying Levis and didn’t stop there.

The ESPN talking head went on to explain why he believes Levis is the better option compared to Stroud, citing the “adversity” he faced last season.

“Will Levis at Kentucky dealt with adversity,” Kiper said. “He wasn’t a three-touchdown favorite. He didn’t have four or five-star recruits all over the place. He still went out there and did a heck of a job. 17-7 record over the last two years. You even saw this past year when he wasn’t out there this offense couldn’t do anything. Offensive line let him down. Receivers let him down. Everything let him down, but he still battled injury and got through the year amazingly.”

Kiper’s latest mock released on April 11 actually has Stroud going No. 2, but a lot has changed in just a week. The Texans have expressed an openness to possibly trading the pick, and a recent mock draft has them passing on a quarterback before trading up to No. 7 to grab Levis.

It seems that Kiper agrees with that line of thinking, as he also threw out the possibility of Houston taking a defensive player before trading up to get Levis.

“If you look at this realistically, if Houston does take Will Anderson Jr. and get out of there, don’t think they can’t get a quarterback,” he said. “If Will Levis does slide a bit, they’re at 12. They have an early second-round pick. They could get Will Anderson Jr. and Will Levis. Both Wills could be a Houston Texan. If they like him, they could get back up from 12, go into the top 10 and get Will Levis if he does slide down past the Colts.”

It’s not just Kiper that is high on Levis, however, as the former Wildcat now has the second-best odds according to Caesars Sportsbook to go No. 2 overall. Ultimately, we’ll have to wait until the draft begins on April 27 to see where he falls. But all the discussion about Levis this offseason has certainly made for some fun speculation.

The post Mel Kiper Jr. says he would take Will Levis with No. 2 pick before CJ Stroud appeared first on On3.

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