BUFFS

ESPN’s first 2025 Draft mock has Shedeur Sanders going top 5

May 2, 2024, 3:01 PM

Shedeur Sanders #2 of the Colorado Buffaloes...

Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

For an entire year, the world knew USC quarterback Caleb Williams would be the first overall pick in the NFL Draft—if Shedeur Sanders is going to be the top selection he’ll have to turn some heads for the Colorado Buffaloes this fall.

The Buffs star quarterback is projected to go in the top five of the 2025 NFL Draft in ESPN’s first mock, but he would fall to be the second gunslinger taken. The extremely early look projects that the Tennesee Titans will trade No. 5 to Las Vegas where the Raiders will select Sanders.

Jordan Reid wrote:

With Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyers and Brock Bowers on offense, the Raiders can set up a young passer really well. And Sanders is a smooth operator whose game centers on his great ball placement (69.3% completion rate last season, eighth in the FBS) and calm demeanor when protected in the pocket. He took 52 sacks in 2023 behind a struggling offensive line, so Sanders’ internal clock must speed up before he gets to the next level; he tends to compound mistakes by holding on to the ball too long. But he has a ton of talent and can certainly be the answer for Las Vegas. I see a lot of similarities to Geno Smith in his game.

Reid does say that this is a very early look and far from his final rankings. The order used was based on Super Bowl odds, meaning the Denver Broncos were slated to pick No. 6. Ried had Sean Payton going for Kelvin Banks Jr. an offensive tackle out of Texas.

So why isn’t Sanders No. 1 overall or even the top quarterback to go? ESPN had Georgia’s Carson Beck, going first followed by two SEC EDGEs and an SEC tackle.

Sanders stayed back at Colorado for 2024 in hopes of being the first quarterback off the board the year he is selected. He also felt like leaving the team his dad Deion Sanders coached after their 4-8 season had a lot of unfinished business attached to it.

Sanders missed all of Colorado’s season finale loss in Utah with a back injury and most of the Buffaloes’ penultimate game, another road loss at WAZZU. The back injury was likely caused by the 56 sacks the team allowed, the second-worst in the country, which plagued him down the stretch. In total, Sanders first season in Boulder after following his dad from Jackson State ended with 3,260 yards passing and 27 touchdowns through the air to just three interceptions. He set some school records but came just shy in others.

Colorado didn’t have a player selected in the 2024 NFL Draft. CU’s last first-rounder in the NFL Draft was in 2011 when both Jimmie Smith and Nate Solder went high. Bo Matthews at No. 2 in 1974 is the highest CU pick ever, but the modern mark is Michael Westbrook going No. 4 in 1995. Kordell Stewart went No. 60, also in 1995, making for the Buffs highest-ever drafted QB. Sanders and two-way star Travis Hunter will no doubt snap some CU NFL Draft marks and perhaps make school history there as well.

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ESPN’s first 2025 Draft mock has Shedeur Sanders going top 5