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100 Days of Mocks: Packers Take Quarterback in First Round

The Green Bay Packers selected Aaron Rodgers’ replacement in 2020. Will they do it again in 2023?
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – Exactly 100 days from today, the 2023 NFL Draft will begin on April 27. By winning four of their final five games after a 4-8 start, the Green Bay Packers are slated to pick 15th.

In a lofty goal – or a goal that should be mocked – we will give you a mock draft to digest every day until the start of the draft.

Batting leadoff is a three-round mock draft by Pro Football Network’s Joe Broback in which he went with Kentucky quarterback Will Levis.

“Will Levis is the perfect replacement for Aaron Rodgers for multiple reasons,” Broback wrote as part of his explanation. “He plays the right position, he could replace his predecessor, and his mayo in coffee habit makes him a perfect candidate for State Farm’s personal price plan.”

Mayo in coffee? Yes, mayo in coffee.

Quarterback in first round? Yes, quarterback in first round.

The Levis choice is, obviously, an interesting one. If Rodgers chooses to come back for a 19th NFL season in 2023, Love might want a trade rather than spending a fourth season on the bench. Love, who is entering his final season under contract, needs to play – not just to gain experience but to set himself up for his second contract.

The Packers have until May 3 – the Monday after the draft – to flip the switch on Love’s fifth-year option. That’s going to be in the neighborhood of a fully guaranteed $20 million for the 2024 season. That would be a good price if Love sticks around in 2023 and Rodgers retires. If Rodgers not only comes back for 2023 but 2024, as well, it would be an exorbitant amount of money tied up at quarterback.

A native of Madison, Conn., Levis opened his career at Penn State, where he started one game apiece in 2019 and 2020. At Kentucky, Levis was a captain in 2021 and 2022. He went 17-7 as a starter, giving him the second-most wins by a quarterback in school history. He threw for 43 touchdowns and ran for 11 more.

As a senior, he completed 65.4 percent of his passes for 2,406 yards with 19 touchdowns vs. 10 interceptions.

“Levis has elite physical tools for the quarterback position — if the draft were based on pure potential alone, he would probably go No. 1 overall,” noted Pro Football Focus in a recent breakdown of Levis.

Athletics are in his DNA. His great-grandfather, Alva Kelley, was an All-America football player at Cornell University and was part of the school’s 1939 national championship. Kelley went on to be the head coach at Colgate, Hobart and Brown.

His father, Mike, played tight end at Denison University and his mother, Beth Kelley Levis, was a two-time All-American soccer player at Yale.

Click here to see the tight end and safety that went to Green Bay with the Day 2 picks.

In a first-round mock published last week, Michael Renner of Pro Football Focus filled a huge need with a pick that would not set the Internet on fire.

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