Supposed NFL Draft gurus hyped Will Levis for months. But it was the now-deleted musings of a Reddit user that propelled the Kentucky quarterback to the top of seemingly every board.

Early this week, somebody on Reddit started a thread about how Levis was telling his friends and family the Carolina Panthers would take him No. 1 overall. Shortly thereafter, the sports books moved. Levis’ odds of being selected No. 1 jumped from +4500 to +400.

It didn’t appear too outlandish, given how strong Levis’ stock seemed as one of the consensus top quarterbacks by all the NFL Draft experts. Reddit user “SaleAgreeable2834” couldn’t have been too far off base, since Mel Kiper ranked Levis as No. 4 overall in his final list of top prospects.

Not to be outdone, NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah was pushing Levis as well. He slotted the Kentucky passer as his No. 12-ranked player in the first round, and even suggested the Colts could take him at No. 4 overall (Indianapolis selected toolsy Florida QB Anthony Richardson instead).

In fact, nearly every draft expert was wrong about Levis. Heading into the event, Levis was the consensus No. 5 overall pick across mock drafts, according to ForTheWin.

But as it turns out, the NFL Draft experts were at odds with actual NFL coaches, some of whom told The Athletic they were never that high on Levis.

“I think Levis is the fourth [of this year’s QBs],” one NFL QB coach said. “I keep seeing some random mocks having him third. I don’t see it, and nobody that I’ve talked to talks about him like that.”

How did the NFL Draft Machine miss so badly? There was a seeming coordinated campaign to push Levis, the only white top QB prospect in this year’s draft. He was propelled to the top of draft board for business and financial reasons, and nobody was there to stop the madness.

All of this chatter led to the sad scene that unfolded Thursday night, with Levis sitting solemnly in the green room, and his mom’s arms wrapped around him.

Meanwhile, most people who actually watched Levis play in college harbored doubts about his elevated draft status. After losing the starting job at Penn State, he transferred to Kentucky, and was OK. Over two seasons, Levis completed 65.7 percent of his passes and and threw for 43 touchdowns and 23 interceptions.

Those aren’t necessarily elite numbers. Yet, the NFL Draft Machine kept pushing Levis as a top prospect.

That’s because there was too much money to be made.

The NFL Draft is one of the strangest spectacles in sports. The New York Times accurately describes the primetime event as an “awards presentation, a Hallmark Channel-style TV drama, a beauty pageant and a reality show.”

For years, ESPN and NFL Network used players’ tragic backstories as a way to boost ratings. Most of these sob stories highlighted the plights of Black players, which hardly went unnoticed.

In response to the criticism, ESPN lead producer Seth Markman told the NYT they’re going to focus less on tragedy porn going forward.

But the NFL Draft is still a major TV production, and there must be some sort of hook. Enter: The plight of the sliding star in the green room, painfully awaiting his name to be called.

As it turns out, the WorldWide Leader’s hype only served as a tool to further embarrass Levis. After the first round, ESPN was promoting Levis’ disappointment as a main attraction for rounds 2 and 3.

Kiper’s hype in particular was unrelenting. He even slotted Levis at No. 2 on his quarterback big board.

On Thursday, when it became apparent that Levis wasn’t going to be selected, Kiper rushed into full-blown defense mode.

“[Levis] played through pain,” Kiper bemoaned. “I don’t know how you hold turnovers, Kentucky with the offensive line as bad as it was, against Will Levis.”

Late Thursday night, Chris Mortensen provided some more context to Levis’ drop: teams were leery about a toe injury that caused him to miss two games last season.

Amazingly, that tidbit didn’t get reported earlier. Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud’s low S2 score was leaked prior to the draft; and yet, concerns about Levis’ toe were kept quiet.

Most of the reporting heading into the draft is one big whisper campaign. The Levis hype got out of control, and nobody was there to stop it. His agent failed him.

And then, one Reddit user dropped a dime, and single-handedly moved the betting markets. Unsurprisingly, their Reddit account is now deleted.

A lot of people made money off of Levis Thursday night. He just wasn’t one of them.