Moves off Will Levis Idea for Vikings

Nov 27, 2021; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Will Levis (7) tumbles upside-down after scoring his fourth touchdown against the Louisville Cardinals during the second half at Cardinal Stadium. Kentucky won 52-21. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports.

Three weeks ago,’s Charles Davis predicted a fall down the draftboard by Kentucky quarterback Will Levis — all the way to the Minnesota Vikings at No. 23.

He explained on March 23rd, “Finally! Teams picking as high as No. 4 overall will likely consider the big-armed passer from Kentucky, but he lands with QB-friendly coach Kevin O’Connell in Minnesota as the franchise’s signal-caller for the future.” Moves off Will Levis Idea for Vikings

Well, that’s apparently yesterday’s news because Davis revamped his mock-draft theories, and this time, Levis re-climbed the board, landing with the Indianapolis Colts at the third overall pick. The Levis plunge was evidently too premature or a flavor of the week in March.

In this go-around from Davis, the Vikings acted defensively, selecting Pittsburgh defensive tackle Calijah Kancey.

Moves off Will Levis
Sep 10, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers defensive lineman Calijah Kancey (8) reacts after recording a sack against the Tennessee Volunteers during the second quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Tennessee won 34-27 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports.

“The Vikings select the quick interior lineman and hope that he develops into a disruptor like Hall of Fame DT John Randle. New defensive coordinator Brian Flores will help the Pitt product,” Davis wrote.

While the Vikings could indeed stand to improve the middle of the defensive trenches, it’s a packed house at the moment for non-NT defensive tackles:

  • DE1: Harrison Phillips
  • DE2: Dean Lowry
  • DE3: James Lynch
  • DE4: Jonathan Bullard
  • DE5: Ross Blacklock
  • DE6: Kenny Willekes
  • DE7: Esezi Otomewo

Minnesota has more pressing and long-term roster needs at other positions, for example, cornerback, wide receiver, and off-ball linebacker.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Pittsburgh
Sep 10, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Tennessee Volunteers offensive lineman Darnell Wright (58) blocks at the line of scrimmage against Pittsburgh Panthers defensive lineman Calijah Kancey (8) in overtime at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports.

Kancey wouldn’t be a silly pick, though. His draft stock has risen considerably in the last month and is close to a shoo-in as a 1st-Round commodity. Kancey’s toughness, motor, and intense pass-rushing technique lead many to believe he could emulate Aaron Donald, in time.

The Draft Network describes Kancey as “a spark plug on the interior of the defensive line. He plays with incredible urgency and fires into the neutral zone with quickness and intent. He’s extremely physical and tough, willing to exchange power with blockers that have 30-plus pounds on him on a weekly basis.”

Vikings on
Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on before a wild card game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings have a litany of options in Round 1, including trading up for a quarterback, selecting a cornerback to strengthen a currently weak CB room, finding a replacement for Adam Thielen, bolstering the linebacker room, or getting truly wild with a running back, Bijan Robinson.

When the dust settles on folks’ draft predictions, the Vikings will likely trade back from the 23rd pick, stockpiling more picks in the draft’s sweet spot, the 20 to 100 range. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah utilized the same strategy last year.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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