The 2023 NFL Draft is more than four months away, but for some teams, the season is nearing an end, which means it’s Mock Draft season. The Falcons will need a borderline miracle to make the postseason as the team begins a new era in franchise history after officially naming Desmond Ridder the starting quarterback. Right now, the team is currently slotted to pick No. 10 overall; however, in Todd McShay’s first Mock Draft (subscription required) of the 2023 cycle, the ESPN Football Power Index (FPI) has Atlanta losing the rest of their games and selecting No. 6 overall. And McShay has the club going after a potential franchise quarterback in Will Levis.
The Falcons are yet another team that needs an upgrade at QB. Marcus Mariota flashed this season but ultimately hasn’t been a solution, and we’ll see what they get out of Desmond Ridder, who is set to start in Week 15. I’m envisioning Levis — who probably has the strongest arm in this class — driving the ball on a rope to Drake London and Kyle Pitts, or using his mobility and sturdy 232-pound frame to extend plays and contribute to Atlanta’s strong run game. Levis still needs some developing, especially when it comes to decision-making, but the traits are outstanding.
With the rest of the NFC South all scrambling for answers under center after this season, Atlanta could be primed to emerge from the pack once Levis settles into the pro game and cleans up his mistakes.
McShay has the top two signal callers — Bryce Young and CJ Stroud — going No. 1 and No. 4 overall, making Levis the third quarterback selected. He played in a pro-style Kentucky offense but had a shaky 2022 campaign filled with injuries. The undeniable thing about Levis is the rocket launcher arm, which admittedly gets him in trouble sometimes.
I’m not going to pretend to be a quarterback guru, but it seems the national media is split on Will Levis. Some believe he’s not worthy of a top ten pick, while others, like Mel Kiper, think he’s one of the best prospects in this class. In his draft prospect rankings, Kiper placed Levis at No. 3 overall and is the No. 1 overall quarterback.
Over his career, Levis completed 65.7% of his passes for 5,232 yards, 43 touchdowns, and 23 interceptions. From what I’ve seen, he’s mobile enough to be successful in today’s NFL and Arthur Smith’s offense. His physical talent isn’t the question; it’s the decision-making. Those are fixable. I’ll never be against the Falcons swinging at quarterbacks; it’s really the only position that matters in the league. Desmond Ridder might or might not be the guy, but that doesn’t mean the team can’t take multiple shots simultaneously.