Levis doesn't put stock in No. 1 pick rumors

Mike Florio and Chris Simms explore where Will Levis is most likely to land in the 2023 NFL Draft, despite the No. 1 overall pick odds swinging over the last three days.

Video Transcript


- A user on Reddit said that you've contacted your friends and family and told me you're going to Carolina, number one. Can you comment on that? Is that true? Is there anything there?

WILL LEVIS: All I have to say is, don't believe everything you read on the internet.

- All right.


MIKE FLORIO: Now, that's hardly a denial. It really is not a denial. Don't believe everything you read on the internet. We know that, Will. But did you tell friends and family member that the Panthers told you, you were going to be the first pick in the Draft. He had a chance to say, I never said that. Just don't believe everything you read on the internet.

And some would say, well, the answer is implied, but still. He didn't say, I didn't say it. And we mention all that because it sent the market into a tizzy earlier in the week. But it's all settled back down. We all know it's gonna be Bryce Young.

Chris, if it's not Bryce Young at this point to the Panthers at number one, they have trolled us. They have deliberately set up, for no reason at all, a phony operation to get everyone, including their fanbase, they're paying customers to think they're going one way and then they're gonna surprise us and go the other way.

And that does damage to your relationship with your fans because it's not like they're gonna be thrilled. It's 6 and 1, half a dozen the other. Why'd you make us think it's Bryce Young and you're gonna pivot to somebody else? There's no reason at this point--


MIKE FLORIO: --to think it's not gonna be Bryce Young.

CHRIS SIMMS: No, it'd be a letdown. I mean, you're setting yourself up for a disaster if that's the way you played it, right? Everybody goes, wait, we're about to get the guy that won the Heisman, and was on Alabama, and has the million-dollar smile, and led the greatest-- you know, the Alabama, the greatest college franchise ever in the history of college football. They're all excited about that.

So yes, you're-- to your point, that would be just a bad way to start it off. And everybody would go, oh my gosh, what? We're not gonna take Bryce Young. And have everybody in Carolina angry at Will Levis before he even steps on that field.

MIKE FLORIO: The ceiling for Levis is two, the floor is four, in my opinion.

CHRIS SIMMS: I would agree with that.

MIKE FLORIO: The Texans could take him at two. The great John McClain who's been covering the Texans since their inception in 2002 and before that covered the Oilers, has been covering the NFL for years, and years, and years. He believes it's Levis. Texans have kept their cards close to the vest.

I believe if it's not the Texans taking Levis, either someone trades up to number three to get him before the Colts do or the Colts take him at number four. But I think he'll be gone by the time the Seahawks pick at number five, Chris.

CHRIS SIMMS: If you made me bet, Mike, I'd be there with you, too. I would. I think it's two or four. From everything I know, yes, the Texans and the Colts, it's Levis and Anthony Richardson. That, you know, CJ Stroud's not a part of those conversations with those two teams. Those two guys are, you know, I think because of the testing and what happened with CJ Stroud, are viewed as, you know, the higher prospects right now. You know, not necessarily maybe their film and all of that.

But the team-- those are the two that teams are most comfortable with because of that. And that's where, yeah, it really is fascinating. I think the big thing with Will Levis, like you said, four's the floor. It's just at two, what are the Texans do at two? You know, I-- there's two ways it can go, right?

Where, OK, wait, you take the quarterback at two, sure. But top-tier pass rusher available at 12? I don't know if that's going to happen. Maybe you're Nolan Smith from Georgia, the guy who's 240 and ran the 4.39 and killed the Combine, right? He could maybe be viewed in that range. You know, but he's a smaller outside-edge type of rusher.

Or do they go, we take Tyree Wilson at two because there's nobody that's going to be on the board like Tyree Wilson at 12, right? So we take him at two. And then now we finagle with pick 12 and maybe trading up to get a quarterback we like and do that, too. That's just the other option I'm interested in because there is the Hendon Hooker angle where they could do that at 12 and go, hey, we'll ride with Davis Mills early on next year and then when Hooker is healthy, he can jump in and be our starter.

MIKE FLORIO: And just to put a pin in this, through all the craziness of the past couple of days with the rumor on Reddit that riled up the betting market for Levis--


MIKE FLORIO: --Bryce Young as of Monday night was minus-2,000 favorite to be the first overall pick. You got to bet $200 to win $1.00. Is it $200? You got about $20 to win $1.00, right? $20 to win $1.00. Sometimes I get a little twisted up with that. You got to bet $20 to win $1.00. Now, he's minus-2,5000--


MIKE FLORIO: --to be the favorite. You got to bet $25 to win $1.00. So it's even-- it's even better. We had it up earlier. But just to see, yes, Levis is still improved from an odds standpoint from 50 to 1 to 9 to 1 But Bryce Young is even more entrenched as the favorite at the end of the day.

CHRIS SIMMS: Yes. And to give some history on this, too, because we have our great, you know, Jay Croucher who, you know, is our NBC, you know, betting-- NBC Sports betting expert, you know, NBC Sport-- NBC, you know, the EDGE, whatever the hell it's called. I'm messing it all up there.

MIKE FLORIO: That's a hell of an endorsement. Can we clip that and use that as a promo for NBC Sports EDGE? That would just be perfect.

CHRIS SIMMS: NBC Sports EDGE Jay Croucher, he's our expert. And yes, he's our expert and adjust, you know, lines, why they're adjusted. And he came on my podcast yesterday, Mike. And he even said, it doesn't take much money to swing this line. This is not like the middle of the NFL season where there's got to be like a five-figure bet thrown down to change the line a little bit.

He said, this is one where-- it's $100 to a few hundred dollars can change the whole line. And because the betting sportsbooks are so scared and don't have the answers to all of this, they over adjust to cover their ass in these situations, too. So you know, again, that's where I think when it moved, everybody goes, whoa, people have info. There must be some major players betting money. And what I found out is that it doesn't take much money to swing this type of line this time of the year.

MIKE FLORIO: Yeah, I suspect they wonder whether it's that first trickle before an avalanche, where the snowball rolls down the hill.


MIKE FLORIO: What else is coming behind?

CHRIS SIMMS: Right, exactly.

MIKE FLORIO: So we've got to get ready.


MIKE FLORIO: Here's a sign, here's an indication that maybe we don't know. And that's the thing I love about gambling, although I don't gamble, just the dynamic of it, the culture of it, the psychology of it.

It's OK for the sportsbook to have the inside information. But you better not have it as the better and you better not act on it. Only we are allowed to have it and act on it. If you do it, you're doing something wrong. It's just like counting cards for Blackjack or something. If you come up with a way to win, we're supposed to win.

CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah, right.

MIKE FLORIO: It's OK for us to win everything. If you come up with a way to win, no, you're banned.

CHRIS SIMMS: [LAUGHS] Yeah, right.