NASHVILLE – The long wait for Kentucky quarterback Will Levis finally ended on Friday night.
The Titans made sure of that by moving up in the second round of the NFL Draft to pick him.
"I stayed positive, and I knew what was meant to be, was going to happen," Levis said on a Zoom call after being picked. "When I saw (the Titans) traded up for me, that alone was telling me that they wanted me, they wanted this to happen. I am really, really excited and thankful for the opportunity."
Levis, projected as a Top 10 pick by many draft analysts heading into the draft, sat inside the green room with cameras on him and his family all night on Thursday night, waiting for his name to be called.
It never happened.
So, Levis left Kansas City on Friday morning, but his frustration didn't end there. After a three-hour flight delay out of Kansas City, and a nightmarish traffic experience on his way home to Connecticut after landing in Newark, N.J., Levis barely made it home before his name was called on the second day of the draft.
That's when the Titans traded up to get him with the 33rd overall selection. The team was initially scheduled to pick 41st overall.
"It was so funny. I was starving, I got home, put the bags down, went to get some food, and as I was stuffing my face, I got the call. I was ecstatic to get the call," Levis said. "It was bang-bang-bang."
The Titans gave the Arizona Cardinals the 41st pick of the draft, along with the 72nd pick (third round). The team also gave up a third-round pick in 2024. The Titans got the 33rd overall pick, which they used to pick Levis, along with the 81st pick the draft (third round).
Levis said his emotions got the best of him when he got on the phone with Titans General Manager Ran Carthon and Coach Mike Vrabel.
"I knew I was going to cry, and the tears came immediately," Levis said. "I didn't really know how the conversation was going to go – it's one of those things where you feel like you're going to handle yourself and be composed, but the waterworks started flowing and the emotions overwhelmed me."
Levis (6-4, 229) played in 24 games over two seasons at Kentucky, starting all 24 games. In 2022, Levis threw for 2,406 yards and 19 touchdowns, with 10 interceptions, as the Wildcats finished 7-4.
Levis threw for 2,827 yards and 24 touchdowns in 2021 for Kentucky, with 13 interceptions, as the Wildcats finished 10-3.
In four college seasons, Levis threw for 5,877 yards and 46 touchdowns, with 25 interceptions. Levis began his collegiate career at Penn State, and he played in 15 games in two seasons at the school.
As Levis arrives in Tennessee, where Ryan Tannehill and Malik Willis are already on the roster, his mindset is to come in and compete.
"Regardless of where I got picked, I feel like it's not going to change my work ethic," Levis said. "You can't let the circumstances dictate your preparation, and the level of intensity you bring to your everyday practice. Definitely a little bit of a chip … I ended up where I was supposed to be, and I am just looking forward to competing and getting started."
The Titans selected former Kentucky quarterback Will Levis in the second round of Friday night's NFL Draft.