Deion Sanders Makes Strong Accusation of NFL Teams Manipulating Players’ Draft Positions

Deion Sanders is known for his head-turning comments, and he went viral again recently after accusing NFL teams of manipulating the draft.

Deion Sanders caught plenty of headlines throughout the college football season for his exploits as Colorado’s head coach. On a recent podcast appearance, he turned heads again with some controversial accusations regarding the NFL Draft process.

Deion Sanders Accuses NFL Teams of Manipulating the Draft

Sanders made an appearance on Thursday’s episode of the Front Office Sports Today podcast and gave his thoughts on the way late-leaking rumors have influenced players’ draft stocks throughout the years.

“You have guys that are slated to go and slotted to go at this number pick,” Sanders said. “Randomly, something comes out that they flunked their drug tests, or they have this type of injury, or they were seen with this and wildly, their draft grade drops later in the round, or even the next round.

“How does that happen? How does that mysteriously come out right before the draft?

“That’s even more harsh [than players refusing to sign with teams], because now you’re affecting someone’s livelihood, and you’re putting a tremendous rumor on somebody that may not even be true. So that’s done every year. The reason I know is that I worked the draft for about 10 to 12 years straight. I know that to be true.”

One recent example of a player’s stock falling on draft day that Sanders could be alluding to is Laremy Tunsil, who dropped to 13th overall in the 2016 NFL Draft after a video clip of him smoking marijuana out of a gas mask made the rounds during the draft.

The Miami Dolphins selected him there, and Tunsil has since moved to the Houston Texans and carved out a successful NFL career. Still, he certainly missed out on some money on his rookie contract by falling a bit from his higher projections entering the draft.

Sanders made it clear where he stands on these kinds of incidents, implying there is often intent behind these issues popping up, specifically during the draft.

Sanders Plans To Have Players ‘Pull an Eli’

Sanders has previously delivered some controversial takes as well, including one during an appearance on the Million Dollaz Worth of Game podcast back in March.

Sanders said on the podcast that his son, Colorado quarterback Shedeur Sanders, and Colorado two-way star Travis Hunter will both refuse to play for certain teams in the draft for situations they find to be more favorable.

“I know where I want them to go,” Deion said. “So, it’s certain cities that ain’t going to happen. It’s going to be an Eli.”

Sanders is referring to Eli Manning’s infamous push not to play for the then-San Diego Chargers in the 2004 NFL Draft. Manning’s agent, Tom Condon, famously told the Chargers just days before the draft that his client would sit out the entire 2004 season if he was drafted by the Chargers.

They still selected Manning first overall but ultimately traded him to the New York Giants less than an hour later.

Deion’s comments indicate Shedeur and Hunter might both pull similar moves in an effort to be selected by the teams they truly want to play for. Deion mentioned the San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Commanders, and Baltimore Ravens as possible landing spots — four teams he played for during his NFL career.

Shedeur and Hunter will both be eligible for the 2025 NFL Draft, though it’s unclear at this point whether they’ll ultimately declare for it. Much of that could depend on how their 2024 seasons go at Colorado as the Buffaloes look to build up from a 4-8 showing in 2023.

KEEP READING: Patriots Undecided on Staying or Trading Out of No. 3 Pick

Whenever Shedeur and Hunter do ultimately enter the draft, however, the pair could turn the process on its head by attempting to force their way into more desirable destinations.

Miss football? The 2024 NFL Draft is almost here, boss. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s all-new Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls — lone wolf or with your friends!

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast!

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

Related Articles