Two-way Colorado football star Travis Hunter could break new ground at 2025 NFL draft

Colorado v UCLA
Colorado v UCLA / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

Two-way Colorado football star Travis Hunter could be the first positional player in the NFL draft next year should he follow through with Coach Prime's edict that he, as well as Shilo and Shedeur Sanders, will only play for teams he wants to play for, as CBS Sports' John Breech.

"If Shedeur ends up being the top QB in the class of 2025, he may be able to pull it off," Breech prefaced before saying, "But if he's not, it becomes much more difficult. As for Hunter, there's never really been a positional player in the draft who's refused to play for a team, so he'll be breaking new ground if he makes it known that he won't play for certain teams."

Truthfully, playing in the right system as most important for Shedeur, whose position (quarterback) is most effected by the system he's in and the pieces around him. We saw that firsthand with CU's porous offensive line holding him back; though not too much considering his gaudy numbers (3,230 passing yards, 27 touchdowns) in 2023.

Hunter, though, needs to find a franchise that'll be comfortable deploying him on both sides of the ball. That's easier said than done considering how valuable he'll be in pass coverage and how nervous some coaching staffs will be to risk having him injured on offense.

Coach Prime: Shilo and Shedeur Sanders and Travis Hunter 'going to be an Eli' if Colorado football stars not drafted to right spots

To Coach Prime, not all NFL franchises are on equal footing. Actually, that's the case for most football fans. The Cleveland Browns and New York Jets are no San Francisco 49ers or Pittsburgh Steelers when it comes to transcending eras and continually putting out a successful on-field product.

It makes sense, then, that the Colorado head coach would threaten that Shilo, Shedeur, and Hunter are "going to be an Eli" -- a reference to Eli Manning's 2004 NFL draft demand that got him off the San Diego Chargers and onto the New York Giants, where he won two Super Bowls -- in 2025 if need be.

"All this is subjective because I know where I kind of want them to go," Sanders said on the Million Dollaz Worth of Game podcast (58:55 mark) (h/t Bleacher Report). "And let's not forget Shilo (Sanders). But I know where I want them to go. There's certain cities where it ain't going to happen. ...It's going to be an Eli [Manning]."

Coach Prime wants his kids, and that includes Hunter given the way he views his top overall recruit, to be in the best position in the pros. And he's evidently willing to ruffle some feathers long before any decision would even have to be made.

It's a bold strategy, but history shows that doing so works out more than not.