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Will Levis ready to show off "cannon" at the combine

Will Levis

INDIANAPOLIS — Not every quarterback chooses to throw at the scouting combine. It's an unfamiliar setting, with every eyeball on you, working with a lot of new people (and not all of them first-round picks).

But for Kentucky quarterback Will Levis, the decision was an easy one.

"Because I've got a cannon," he replied when asked why he planned to throw today. "I'm going to show it off."

At another point, asked how he thought he could separate himself from the rest of the quarterbacks in this class, he replied: "I think, physically. I just say my arm talent; I think I've got one stronger arms that's come out of any draft class in recent memory."

That kind of ability to throw, and that kind of confidence, has Levis in the top tier of quarterbacks in this year's draft. While his numbers dipped his final year for the Wildcats (playing with less talent around him and after a coordinator change, along with several nagging injuries), he didn't seem fazed when he got here.

"I think this past year didn't go as well as we would have wanted it to," he admitted. "But I mean, I learned a lot from it. I learned how to kind of battled through adversity and just dealt with a lot of things physically. Just situationally, that was tough, but I think I just became a better kind of player, a better quarterback, because of it.

"I mean, I'm going to show what I'm about once I get to that next level and do my best to show that to these coaches throughout this week as well."

The Panthers met with him and the other top prospects this week, and head coach Frank Reich acknowledged the talent but also some of the unanswered questions.

"Will's another one of those young guys who's super talented," Reich said. "Obviously, got the big arm, big size. Has good experience, has done a lot. Unique circumstances, changed coordinators playing at Kentucky, the dynamics of that. How do you factor all that in? What does that all mean? That's different for every club and every evaluator.

"Certainly, Will's another one of those guys who's earned the right to be talked about as one of these top quarterbacks in the draft."

Will Levis

Levis said he enjoyed the meeting with the Panthers, who had Reich and quarterback coach Josh McCown in the room, putting him through some work on the board. Having a couple of former NFL quarterbacks quizzing him made it a different experience.

"Yeah, it's fun," Levis said. "So to kind of have them explain the offense, and then have me relay it back to them, I think it's a great way for them to kind of figure out my knowledge, and then also learn whatever I can from them as well.

"Everyone has different ways of teaching certain things, whether it's protections, concepts, formations, I mean, I just love ball. So it's cool to hear kind of different ways to do things."

It's unclear if they asked him about any of his unusual tastes in food. He went viral a few times in college for eating bananas with the peel on and putting mayonnaise in his coffee.

"I was completely ready to answer that question," he said with a grin when asked about the coffee bit. "No, I mean, at the end of the day, it's just like just me having fun, and it's not something I do. I hope people understand that by now."

What he does do often is go downfield. That's why he's eager for today's workouts and the chance to show it off.

He casually talks about his goals "to win more than anybody out there, to be the greatest of all time," and isn't afraid to raise expectations.

"I think right now, I could bring them a championship," Levis said of the team that picks him. "This confidence I have, I think I'm able to assimilate myself very, very well; better than anybody else, I believe. That's the confidence I have just due to my experience and just due to my physical tools.

"I think that I'm going to be able to be plugged into any offense, learn it well, and become a leader very quickly. Whatever team I play for, obviously, the goal is to progress. I want to get better every year; I'm not expecting myself to be the best quarterback in the league right off the bat. But I mean, that's just what development is all about."

View photos of head coach Frank Reich and general manager Scott Fitterer from their press conferences and interviews with the media at the Combine on Wednesday.

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