Levine entered the Stanford program in 2009 as the 6th overall Tight End recruit according to Scout.com. Levine earned Third Team All-California playing Tight End and Defensive End. He also was an Academic Letter Winner in basketball, where he played Power Forward. His Freshman year, he accumulated no games played or stats and was sidelined all of the 2010 season (took a medical redshirt) due to a serious knee injury he suffered in the first game against Sacramento State. However, in 2011, his first successful season, Levine broke out to the tune of 25 receptions, 343 yards, and 5 touchdowns. Like the other Cardinal Tight Ends and Backs, he is a niche player, whom will take advantage of the deep passing game and opening holes for Stepfan Taylor and Anthony Wilkerson in the run blocking game.
Size and Speed: Levine will enter the year standing 6’8 (however closer to 6’7) and 265 pounds. He does a great job of using his size to both move and go up and over defenders. Levine has good speed (projected 4.8-4.85) to play regularly in the slot and out wide.
Release: Levine comes off the line quickly and cleanly, however when inline, he will on occasion struggle to beat the press. He is able to get off the line quickly and get to top speed, more often, beating the defender deep. Where he will struggle is his short to intermediate routes where he will misjudge the route/defender and will chop his feet.
Route Running: Levine comes out of a pro-style offense at Stanford and can run all of the routes needed to succeed at the next level. He has the height to out jump and go over the defender in certain situations. He has good hips and feet, while knowing when he needs to break off of his route and stand in the soft spot of the zone. He excels in the intermediate to deep passing game, where he can use his quick acceleration to beat the linebacker (or corner) off the line, which utilizes his long speed to remain open. Also is used as a Red Zone threat, where he utilizes his height to simply out jump the defender. Again, he needs to work on his short route running where he has to stop chopping his feet and trust his natural ability.
Hands: Levine has better than average hands. He does a good job of using his hands to snag the ball, then bring it into his body to secure it (few body catches). He shows a great ability to high point the ball landing with his feet. He does struggle with alligator arming, but this has decreased as the season progressed.
Body Control and Traffic Ability: Levine shows inconsistent body control on the line and has shown he can moved or knocked back, off balanced (usually by a bull rush). However, when used as a Receiver, he has great balance and controls himself in the air and out of his breaks. While not a flashy catcher by any means, Levine is able to function in traffic and tight spaces, where he has to leave his feet or make a play knowing contact is coming. He will drop the occasional pass after hard contact is made, although rare, needs to improve ball security.
YAC: Levine does a good job of creating extra yards after the catch. He is capable of out running man to man coverage and is strong enough to dip a shoulder to bounce off the initial contact. He also helps create space and yards for his teammates, when he is double teamed, he creates mismatches elsewhere.
Blocking: While a capable blocker, Levine has struggled with consistency in his blocking ability and technique. Playing one of the pivotal roles in the Cardinal offense, he needs to improve his quickness and balance off the snap. Even though he is strong enough to keep the defender off of him, he will not get a strong enough initial punch, and will allow the defender to get to him first. He isn’t to the point of looking like he is on skates, he just needs refinement of his skills (raw).
Final Word: While the most explosive of all the Stanford Tight Ends, Levine needs to go to a team to showcase his skills and all around athletic ability. He needs to clean up his short routes and all around blocking technique, but 6’8 and 265 pound Tight Ends, who can run as smoothly as Levine don’t grow on trees.