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NFL analyst: Shedeur Sanders isn’t a first-round QB without fixing these serious flaws

Shedeur Sanders
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the 2024 NFL Draft is in the rearview mirror, NFL scouts are tasked with looking ahead to the 2025 draft class, which is a lot different than the crop of talent that just arrived in the pros last month.

While there are intriguing prospects such as Shedeur Sanders, the 2025 class doesn’t feature a consensus No. 1 overall pick or even a clear-cut quarterback ranked ahead of his peers. Of course, prospects have nearly a year to change the public’s opinion, but not all players will see their draft stock improve.

Sanders is currently being hyped as a potential first-round pick who could even climb into the top five. Naturally, as we’ve seen from several other prospects hyped as future stars, Sanders could very well see his draft stock crater, forcing him to fall out of the first round entirely.

The 2024 college football season will ultimately determine Sanders’ draft slot, but one NFL analyst believes Shedeur has a lot of work to do before being ready for the pros.

Recently, Yahoo Sports’ Nate Tice took a deep dive with his Shedeur Sanders scouting report. He noted that the 6-foot-2, 215-pound quarterback has enough size and athleticism to survive in the pros and has enough arm strength to make all the throws.

However, Tice also pointed out some concerning flaws in Sanders’ game.

Nate Tice highlights Shedeur Sanders’ biggest weakness

NCAA Football: Colorado Spring Game
Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

One thing Tice noticed was how Sanders responded to pressure. It’s no secret that Sanders needs to take fewer sacks (10.2% sack rate last season compared to CFB average of 6.1%). Yet, as Tice points out, it’s when the Colorado QB’s process gets interrupted when Shedeur faces the most trouble.

Now, some of these issues could sort themselves out, as Colorado was working with a jumbled offensive line after their many transfer portal comings and goings. Yet, Sanders’ pressure to sack rate of 25.3% is still concerning considering he does have the athleticism to escape the pocket, he just rarely uses his legs to move the chains.

Because of all the pressure he faces, Shedeur developed a tendency to focus on working the ball to the flats and other short areas of the field instead of pushing the ball deep. This means if Sanders does take a sack, or even a couple on the same drive, Colorado would be far behind the sticks, and Shedeur’s passing style doesn’t give them a chance to dig themselves out due to his propensity to work the underneath areas of the field.

One other glaring issue Tice pointed out was Shedeur often “going into chaos mode” when his first read wasn’t there.

“Sanders has a few things to clean up this next season, something he hopefully can do with another year of experience. When reviewing 2023, Sanders’ eyes would come down during the pass rush and he would drift backward in the pocket. If his first read wasn’t cleanly open, Sanders would constantly go into chaos mode — and not with overwhelmingly great results.”

NFL analyst Nate Tice on Shedeur Sanders

While Sanders still has plenty of traits that can make him a superstar at the next level, there’s a reason he’s returning for another year of seasoning in college. If Shedeur can improve how he handles pressure while making more big plays downfield instead of throwing behind the sticks all the time, he just might reach his full potential. If not, we could see Deion Sanders’ son’s draft stock fall.

Related: NFL QB Rankings 2024: From Patrick Mahomes to Gardner Minshew

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