Ravens Would Have ‘Considered’ Drafting Will Levis In the 1st Round If Not For One Thing

Will Levis

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The Baltimore Ravens would have “considered” selecting quarterback Will Levis with the 22nd overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft had star quarterback Lamar Jackson not agreed to a lucrative contract extension just before the draft commenced.

Lamar Jackson, the Ravens’ dynamic signal-caller, inked a massive 5-year, $260 million deal on Thursday, shortly before the draft began. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, this last-minute agreement was a crucial move for the Baltimore franchise. By securing Jackson’s future with the team, they gained leverage in case they wanted to explore quarterback options in the draft.

Fowler explained, “In the absence of a Lamar Jackson deal by the start of the draft, I believe, after asking around, that the Ravens would have considered quarterback Will Levis with the 22nd overall pick. Finalizing a deal for Jackson before Thursday night was prudent for Baltimore, which could implement the possibility of drafting a passer as leverage.”

By signing Jackson before the draft, the Ravens held the upper hand in negotiations. They could have used the option of drafting a quarterback as leverage, forcing Jackson’s camp to make concessions during contract discussions. However, if the draft had passed without an agreement, the balance of power would have shifted to Jackson, potentially weakening Baltimore’s chances of securing a favorable contract, as viable quarterback options would have become scarce.

Fowler added, “After the draft, leverage would shift to Jackson, potentially weakening the chance at a deal because Baltimore’s QB options would be scarce … unless they selected one on Day 1 or 2. This is a moot point after Jackson and Baltimore agreed to terms on a five-year, $260-million extension a few hours before the draft kicked off. Had that not gone down, the QB option could have been tempting — and Levis was the best option at 22.”

Will Levis, a promising quarterback prospect, caught the attention of the Ravens’ front office. His skill set and potential made him an attractive option for Baltimore, especially considering the uncertainty surrounding Jackson’s contract situation. However, with Jackson secured as the team’s long-term quarterback, the Ravens no longer had the need to use their first-round pick on a passer. Levis was ultimately drafted in the 2nd round by the Titans after they traded up to get him.

The agreement between Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens brought relief to the team’s fans and ensured continuity at the quarterback position. With the contract extension in place, the Ravens were able to focus on building a supporting cast around Jackson as they look to make a strong push in the upcoming NFL season.

While the possibility of Will Levis donning the purple and black has been put to rest, the Ravens’ decision to prioritize Jackson’s extension demonstrates their commitment to the talented quarterback and their desire to maintain a winning culture in Baltimore.