Vikings Called ‘Scheme Fit’ for Top 10 QB

Perfect Storm Invites
Feb 28, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo‐Mensah during the NFL combine at the Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Three and half weeks separate 32 teams and the 2023 NFL Draft, and the pre-draft hype machine is chugging loudly.

In the last two weeks, Hendon Hooker has become a Minnesota Vikings draft darling, even dragged in the 1st Round by some prominent draft brains.

Vikings Called ‘Scheme Fit’ for Top 10 QB

And another prospect is linked with Minnesota, Kentucky’s Will Levis. The 23-year-old is a stereotypical draft creature, spitballed by some as a Top 3 pick, considered a bizarre human by others, and falling to the Vikings at No. 23 in a couple of mock drafts.

Scheme Fit
University of Kentucky senior quarterback Will Levis showed his passing form during a Pro Day workout at Nutter Field House in Lexington, Ky., on Friday, Mar. 24, 2023. © Jeff Faughender/Courier Journal and USA Today Network / USA TODAY NETWORK.

But mock-draft hype aside, believes Levis is actually a ‘scheme fit’ for Kevin O’Connell’s Vikings. SI’s Gilberto Manzano explained scheme fits for all the draft’s top prospects, and the only time the Vikings were mentioned occurred with Levis.

“Familiarity with coach Kevin O’Connell’s scheme would likely help Levis regain his form from his standout 2021 season, when Liam Coen was Kentucky’s offensive coordinator. (O’Connell and Coen worked together as assistant coaches for Sean McVay with the Rams two years ago),” Manzano opined about Levis and Minnesota.

Oct 1, 2022; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Will Levis (7) waits for the snap during the first half against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

He added, “Levis is inconsistent, but he has the size, arm strength and athleticism to thrive under the guidance of O’Connell.”

Two weeks ago,’s Charles Davis predicted a Levis tumble down the draft board all the way to the Vikings and explained, “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. And if Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker had not suffered an ACL tear late last season, a HEAVY debate would be had about the former Volunteer being picked in this spot, or others, in Round 1.”

So, Levis in purple isn’t new and seemed to pop into the NFL stratosphere once the world realized quarterback Kirk Cousins is under contract for just one more season. Then, the Hooker and Levis theories flooded the digital space.

Last month, Levis met with the media at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis and was asked if any team had done anything out of the norm during the interview process. He identified the Vikings as the only example and explained, “I think the only thing I can think of –- Minnesota had a football. They just kind of had you have a football in your hands, which is nice because I like having something to kind of play around with. I don’t know if it’s because they wanted to see how big my hands were or something.”

A Vikings Win over Giants
Sep 25, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell before the game against the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The two parties have chatted, and the nugget about Liam Coen only sweetens the pot. Meanwhile, the Vikings aren’t exactly in an advantageous spot to select Levis if his draft stock demands Top 10 classification. Minnesota has five draft picks on the menu as of April 4th and would have to dig into 2024 and 2025 cupboards if Levis doesn’t plunge down the board, as described by Charles Davis.

The Vikings haven’t drafted a player from the University of Kentucky in 22 years — defensive back Eric Kelly in 2001.

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).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by