NFL Draft: Will Levis grabbed by Tennessee Titans as Detroit Lions take Hendon Hooker | NFL News


Joey Porter Jr. was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the first pick of the second round; Will Levis – the biggest name on the board at the start of Day 2 – went to the Tennessee Titans; watch day three live on Saturday on Sky Sports Action

Last Updated: 29/04/23 9:09am

Will Levis has been selected by the Tennessee Titans in the NFL Draft

Will Levis has been selected by the Tennessee Titans in the NFL Draft

Kentucky quarterback Will Levis was snapped up by the Tennessee Titans early on day two of the NFL Draft, while the Detroit Lions plucked their own potential future starter in Hendon Hooker.

Levis waited through the entire first round of the NFL Draft without hearing his name called, before the Titans traded up to grab Levis with the second pick of the night and 33rd selection overall.

The Titans traded their second-round (41st overall) and third-round (No 72) picks in this draft and a 2024 third-round selection to the Arizona Cardinals for the pick used on Levis and a third-round pick (81st overall) .

“I told myself I wouldn’t fall in love with anybody throughout this process, because I knew I really didn’t have a say in the matter,” Levis told reporters. “But if there was one team I did, it was definitely Tennessee.”

There were tears, boos and fireworks on the opening day of the 2023 NFL Draft, with Alabama quarterback Bryce Young the first overall pick.

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There were tears, boos and fireworks on the opening day of the 2023 NFL Draft, with Alabama quarterback Bryce Young the first overall pick.

There were tears, boos and fireworks on the opening day of the 2023 NFL Draft, with Alabama quarterback Bryce Young the first overall pick.

Levis, 24, had consistency and turnover issues during the last two seasons while starting at Kentucky but his arm has impressed pro scouts and talent evaluators. Levis passed for 5,232 yards, 43 touchdowns and 23 interceptions for the Wildcats.

The Titans’ decision to trade up comes one year after they selected Malik Willis of Liberty in the third round. Willis looked overmatched late last season when he was forced into action after Ryan Tannehill’s ankle injury.

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Tannehill turns 35 in July so a game plan in which the organization looks to plug in Levis as the starter in the near future is certainly realistic. Levis, though, is more concerned with fitting in well in the Titans’ quarterback room.

“They have been in the NFL a lot longer than I have,” Levis said of Tannehill and Willis. “Malik has already played a year. So they have a lot more experience and will be able to teach me a lot of things. I just want to be great teammates with them and great teammates with everybody else on the team while competing at the same times.”

Kentucky quarterback Will Levis was expected to be selected early on draft day but instead heads to Round 2 still waiting for his phone to ring.

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Kentucky quarterback Will Levis was expected to be selected early on draft day but instead heads to Round 2 still waiting for his phone to ring.

Kentucky quarterback Will Levis was expected to be selected early on draft day but instead heads to Round 2 still waiting for his phone to ring.

Immediately before Levis was picked, the Pittsburgh Steelers opened the second round by picking Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr., the son of former Pittsburgh star Joey Porter Sr. The younger Porter was viewed as a first-round talent by many observers.

“This is amazing. This is something me and my family and I always talked about, maybe coming back home,” Porter said. “This is an unreal moment.”

After Levis was picked, the Detroit Lions and the Las Vegas Raiders both selected tight ends. Detroit tabbed Sam LaPorta of Iowa while the Raiders acquired the 35th overall pick from the Indianapolis Colts to choose Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer.

The Green Bay Packers picked Oregon State tight end Luke Musgrave with the 42nd overall pick, which they received from the New York Jets this week as part of the Aaron Rodgers trade.

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Two more tight ends went later to make it five in the round. The Dallas Cowboys selected Michigan’s Luke Schoonmaker at No 58 and the Jacksonville Jaguars grabbed Penn State’s Brenton Strange at No 61. Only one tight end – Utah’s Dalton Kincaid, 25th overall to the Buffalo Bills – went in the first round.

Alabama safety Brian Branch, another player who was on site Thursday night without being tabbed, went 45th to the Lions. The Seattle Seahawks took UCLA’s Zach Charbonnet with the No 52 pick, marking the second straight year they took a running back in the second round. Seattle chose Kenneth Walker of Michigan State at No 41 last season.

Charbonnet was the first running back selected in the second round and the third overall. Texas’ Bijan Robinson went No 8 to the Atlanta Falcons in the first round and Alabama’s Jahmyr Gibbs went 12th overall to the Lions.

Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker was still on the board as one of top available players, with Detroit Lions using an early third-round selection to take the potential future franchise quarterback into the Motor City.

Hendon Hooker moves to the Detroit Lions

Hendon Hooker moves to the Detroit Lions

The 25-year-old was the fifth quarterback to be drafted, following Alabama’s Bryce Young (No 1 overall to Carolina), Ohio State’s CJ Stroud (No 2 to Houston), Florida’s Anthony Richardson (No 4 to Indianapolis) and Levis to Tennessee .

Hooker saw his 2022 season ended abruptly when he tore the ACL in his left knee in a game against South Carolina on November 19, although said in an article published on Tuesday that he expect to be “100 per cent cleared” to play by the start of the season.

Watch continued coverage of the 2023 NFL Draft on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Saturday from 3pm on Sky Sports Action.