When Shedeur Sanders chose to play college football at Jackson State for his dad, Deion Sanders, it seemed like high school politics.
Coach's kid gets to be the starting quarterback of the football team? No matter what high school you played sports at, and no matter the sport, you likely saw something like this growing up.
If you have kids who play sports, you may have heard in the stands, "He's only starting because he's the coach's kid." Disney would call it a tale as old as time.
Then the production started to show up in the box scores and a different picture came into focus.
Sanders may not have impressed in his college debut at Jackson State, squeaking by Florida A&M, 7-6, but he impressed with poise and accuracy. He finished the game 18-of-24 with 221 yards.
The rest of his freshman year went the same way, as he would complete 68% of his passes for 3,056 yards and 29 touchdowns.
He would also go on to win the Jerry Rice Award as the best freshman football player in the FCS.
His sophomore year was even better, as he led the team to an undefeated record in the regular season.
He also increased his completion percentage, passing yards, and touchdowns, and was named the SWAC Offensive Player of the Year.
It was impressive, but some draftniks weren't as impressed, believing he lacked finesse and an NFL-caliber arm.
Ian Cummings of the Pro Football Network said that Sanders had a lower ceiling than other quarterback prospects and that he "doesn't possess blue-chip talent."
NFL Draft Buzz gave him a prospect score of 83.8 (lower than Carson Strong and about the same as Bailey Zappe in the 2022 draft).
NFL Mock Draft Database, which tracks and averages draft big board from all major media sources, currently has him with an average draft grade of a fourth-round pick.