After drafting Will Levis in the second round, Yahoo Sports NFL reporters Charles Robinson and Jori Epstein talk about what the Titans plan on doing with the former University of Kentucky QB, including what this means for both Malik Willis and Ryan Tannehill heading into the 2023 season. Hear the full conversation on You Pod To Win The Game. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Tennessee is a very interesting situation now. Will Levis gets drafted in the second round. To me, if I'm to be completely honest about this, I feel like this was an ownership pick. I don't have any problem saying that. I feel like ownership wanted that quarterback.
I think that-- I don't believe there's a 100% consensus in that building on what exactly they have in Will Levis. I think they know they have some people in the building know they have toolsy guy, who's got size. He's got some prototypical aspects. He's got arm to the ends of the Earth, but they also know that the stamp that was put on him in the process was is he cocky or is he arrogant?
Ryan Tannehill is still there. Tannehill said, my job is to win games. Hope he adds something good to the quarterback room. It already feels kind of a little tense moving into this season. What do you think about the starting, I guess sort of, race there, and just, sort of, what we've kind of seen unfold a little bit that's interesting about this pick?
JORI EPSTEIN: Levis' selection at all speaks volumes about what they think about Malik Willis, their third round pick last year. I mean, that is not a good sign for him. It was not a good sign for him when Josh Dobbs got the nod late in the season, playoff contention games, and now, not only is he not starting that game last year, he's not even guaranteed to back up Ryan Tannehill this year. And it's like, well, what are we doing here?
And at some point, you have to ask the question of when they draft Will Levis in the second round, how much were they drafting him because he was their guy, they believe in him, they think this is the quarterback they want, the coaching staff is on board, not just potentially ownership if ownership was on board, versus we need a quarterback, we don't believe in the guy we've got backing up Tannehill and Tannehill is not going to be here that much longer, and the value is just too good to pass up?
You almost have that bad situation where you have three quarterbacks in the building, and you still don't feel good about who's going to start in 2024 and having one option, much less two.
CHARLES ROBINSON: They passed on Will Levis twice. Not once, they passed on him twice. If they were moving up to number three, which they attempted to do, they didn't achieve that, but they still had the pick at 11 and they passed on Levis, which means they were moving up to three for a quarterback that was not Will Levis, right? They did not achieve that. Then Will Levis was sitting so they passed on them there. They were already going to get a guy and it wasn't Will. Then 11 rolls along and they go, we'll take the guard. We'll take that guy who's-- now granted, he might be Zack Martin. No question.
But you did. You passed on him twice. If he goes out into a game and he carries that to the field and he can make those plays and people will gravitate to him, and trust me, a coaching staff or whoever might not be fully on board or might have questions, they'll get on board pretty quickly. I actually think there's great upside here for your first two draft picks. Significant massive upside. I think it absolutely could work out. I just think it's really going to be fascinating to see exactly how it goes.