5 burning questions Panthers fans are asking ahead of Week 9 at Bengals

(Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports) Hendon Hooker
(Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports) Hendon Hooker /
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(Brianna Paciorka/The Knoxville News-Sentinel via IMAGN Content Services) Hendon Hooker /

Will Levis vs. Hendon Hooker

Why do some people have Will Levis ahead of Hendon Hooker on their draft boards? If we win a couple more we might be out of the Bryce Young-C.J. Stroud sweepstakes. So it would be nice to have your take on those two. – James Sutton

Thank you for your question, James. While I’m not fully indoctrinated into NFL Draft mode at the moment, I do have some preliminary takes on Will Levis and Hendon Hooker.

There are some in the national media and draft pundits who have Levis ahead of Hooker. The Kentucky prospect has the physical tools you look for in a potential franchise quarterback.

If you watch Levis, the arm talent is very evident along with his prototypical size and mobility. He also has versatility in different offensive schemes thanks to the current offensive coordinator Rich Sangarello and his predecessor, Liam Cohen, both of whom have coached in the NFL in recent years.

After that, the argument gets a little bit tight due to the lack of consistency Levis shows as a quarterback.

The signal-caller does not have great accuracy or tempo, nor does he possess the best upper and lower-half mechanics. While he does flash some poise, it’s inconsistent. Levis hasn’t been exactly great under pressure.

Hooker, on the other hand, is one of the Heisman Trophy front-runners. He has an above-average arm and also possesses great athleticism to create plays on the move. The player’s accuracy has also improved over the last couple of seasons.

However, there are concerns. Hooker will be 25 years old during the NFL Draft and will be coming from an offense with a lot of half-field reads. While he is a much more mature quarterback compared to the rest of the class, his transition might be steeper than the challenge awaiting Levis.

Right now, I don’t disagree with anyone that has Levis over Hooker in their current rankings. I wouldn’t have an issue if it was the other way around, either.

We’ll be discussing these two quarterbacks for months to come leading up to the 2023 draft and how they might fit on the Carolina Panthers. Nothing is for certain right now. We’ll learn more as their respective assessments go on.

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