2025 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Shedeur Sanders

Shedeur-Sanders-Scouting-Report-Featured-Image




  • Shedeur Sanders, 6-1/198
  • Quarterback
  • Colorado
 

Shedeur Sanders Prospect Preview

By Charlie Campbell

Career Recap:

As the son of NFL Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders, Shedeur Sanders had huge expectations when he went with his father to Jackson State. Sanders dominated at the smaller level. In his first season of action in 2021, Sanders completed 66 percent of his passes for 3,231 yards, 30 touchdowns and eight interceptions. In 2022, he completed 71 percent of his passes for 3,732 yards, 40 touchdowns and six interceptions. After that season, Colorado hired Deion Sanders to be their head coach, and Shedeur transferred to the Buffalos to continue playing for his father. In his first season at a higher level of competition, Sanders was very good in 2023, completing 69 percent of his passes for 3,230 yards, 27 touchdowns, and three interceptions. He had four rushing touchdowns as well. Sanders could have been a first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, but he returned to Colorado.

 

2024 Season Outlook::

Colorado has an easier schedule in 2024 after the conference dissolution madness that has wreaked havoc on college football. Sanders’s best competition will come in games against Nebraska (Sep. 7), Kansas State (Oct. 12), Arizona (Oct. 19), Utah (Nov. 16), and Oklahoma State (Nov. 29).

 

Prospect Summary:

Over the last 20 years, there has been a serious devolving in football. It started with the simplicity of the college spread offenses that have failed to develop quarterbacks, and offensive linemen, particularly for the NFL. There also have been a lot of fraudulent “quarterback gurus” who work with young quarterbacks in the offseason but do not develop their fundamentals or mental I.Q. for the NFL. Because of this lack of development, new quarterbacks in the NFL struggle with the basics. In college, they are snapping the ball on a clap rather than having a quarterback do a snap count or audibles. Offenses look over at signs from the sideline, and young quarterbacks are now struggling to call a play in a huddle because they enter the NFL having not done that in college. The NFL isn’t blameless, as the owners and players union have joined forces to kill player development by reducing off-season practices and access to coaches. Many quarterbacks now don’t even line up their feet appropriately and struggle to identify defensive fronts. This all adds up to a decline in the caliber of play that many league observers have lamented, including all-time great quarterback Tom Brady.

With this backdrop, a quarterback like Shedeur Sanders really stands out as a special prospect. As the son of one of the greatest players to ever play in the NFL, Sanders has been tutored and schooled with advanced quarterbacking concepts from a young age. Brady has been Sanders’s mentor, which is evident in his play. Sanders’s fundamentals are very advanced and much further along than those of many quarterbacks entering the NFL in recent years. Sanders’s feet are superb, from how he lines up to his first step post-snap. Sanders has a compact and quick throwing motion. There is no doubt that Sanders has been coached well in football fundamentals.

Pre-snap and post-snap, Sanders’s football I.Q. is extremely impressive. He has fabulous instincts and seems like a step ahead mentally of everybody else on the field. He reads defenses extremely well and has tremendous vision. Sanders works through his progressions and recognizes coverage and defensive fronts. There is no doubt that Sanders is extremely smart, which has led to his being an excellent decision-maker. He takes care of the football and is never careless with the ball.

The advanced footwork helps lead to Sanders being an extremely accurate quarterback. Sanders is pin-point with amazing accuracy and timing to his passes. He has tremendous ball placement to fit passes into tight windows and beat good coverage with the ball’s location. Sanders can fire the ball past defensive backs and consistently makes throws with perfect accuracy. His ability to throw into tight windows is phenomenal and very advanced.

Sanders has good mobility to move within the pocket and can hurt defenses on the ground. He does an excellent job of keeping his eyes downfield while he scrambles, and that leads to him being able to ad-lib his team into a big play. Sanders is not a rare running threat like a Lamar Jackson, but Sanders has mobility to help him be effective. While Sanders does not have an elite arm cannon like a Josh Allen, Sanders has a quality arm that is strong enough to be a quality pro starter. Sanders is also extremely tough, showing no fear of taking hits in the pocket and staying on the field despite getting punishment from the defense.

Like all college players, there are things that Sanders could improve for the NFL. He needs to take check-down passes more frequently. The Colorado offensive line was atrocious in 2023, so not holding the ball so long would help his teammates.

Last season an area scout told me this about Sanders:

“He won’t wow with physical tools, …. But his arm is good enough, especially in the short and intermediary. Mentally, he can operate at incredible speed. He could be the most NFL ready as far as football I.Q.; he bleeds confidence and charisma. He’ll own a team immediately because of his competitiveness and obvious advantage having grown up in the rare NFL bubble. Pro ball will not scare him.”

Sanders looks like he has the ability to be a good NFL starter, and he could be special if he lands with a team that provides quality blocking and receivers.

 

2025 NFL Draft Expectations:

Entering the 2024 season, Sanders looks like he has first-round potential for the 2025 NFL Draft.





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