Best of the West: The top prospects for the 2025 NFL Draft (Oregon, Colorado and Arizona are loaded)

Welcome to the Hotline’s umpteenth annual ridiculously-early outlook for the next NFL Draft, an exercise in semi-futility that nonetheless serves a quasi-important purpose: It provides clarity on the distribution of high-end talent across the West, which helps establish reasonable expectations for the upcoming season.

The only difference this time around: We aren’t limiting the scope to the Pac-12.

A two-team assessment wouldn’t be all that interesting, would it?

Players from Oregon State and Washington State were considered, of course. So were players from the 10 outbound schools, along with those in the Mountain West and Brigham Young.

Not every school is represented. The following list features the players who we believe are most likely to be selected in the high rounds of the 2025 NFL Draft.

Our calculation includes a weighting to the positions coveted by NFL teams, from quarterbacks and edge rushers to offensive tackles, cornerbacks and receivers — players on the perimeter.

The NFL is all about the perimeter.

Important caveats: Some of the players listed below might not enter the draft, while other players with top-tier talent might not be in the region just yet.

The window to enter the transfer portal closes Tuesday, but players in the portal at that point can select their new school later in the spring.

Here we go …

1. Colorado CB Travis Hunter. It has been 68 years since a defensive back was the No. 1 overall selection, and that player, Gary Glick, played for Colorado … State. We don’t expect the Buffaloes’ dynamic two-way threat to break the  seven-decade streak, but Hunter’s cover skills will make him a top-10 selection.

2. Oregon OT Josh Conerly. Watch for a stellar season from the junior, who was the No. 1 rated offensive tackle in the country two years ago when he picked the Ducks over Washington. He has the size and footwork NFL teams crave and plays one of the most valued positions.

3. Arizona WR Tetairoa McMillan. The 6-foot-5 touchdown machine has a huge catch radius, runs well and creates matchup problems all over the field. McMillan’s production should continue as the Wildcats enter the Big 12 given his  connection with returning quarterback Noah Fifita.

4. Colorado QB Shedeur Sanders. Quarterback play across the West won’t match the historic level we saw in 2023, with Caleb Williams, Michael Penix Jr. and Bo Nix all selected in the first half of the first round. Sanders’ draft position hinges on continued development in the pocket which, in turn, depends partly on improved protection. Our guess: He lands somewhere in the No. 10-20 range.

5. Oregon CB Jabbar Muhammad. When last seen, Muhammad was producing lockdown coverage for Oregon’s public enemy No. 1. If his play in Eugene mirrors what he displayed in Seattle last fall, the well-traveled Muhammad — his career started at Oklahoma State — will be one of the top cornerbacks in the country.

6. Utah LB Lander Barton. Utah’s best players typically don’t register national attention, and that’s doubly true for the Utes who only play half a season. But assuming Barton fully recovers from a lower leg injury, his playmaking and ball-hawking skills will generate plenty of draft buzz. Barton’s biggest challenge: Linebackers have limited value in today’s NFL.

7. Washington CB Ephesians Prysock. One of several players who followed coach Jedd Fisch from Tucson to Seattle, the 6-foot-4 Prysock enters next season as the Huskies’ replacement for Muhammad — an elite cornerback whose presence creates opportunities for the other 10 defenders.

8. Oregon WR Evan Stewart. If you’re unfamiliar with the name, it’s understandable. Stewart hasn’t played a down for the Ducks, after all. But he was the No. 1 receiver in the prep class of 2022 before spending two years at Texas A&M (91 catches). He has first-class speed and should thrive in Oregon’s scheme, then reap the rewards as an early-round pick.

9. USC DT Bear Alexander. The 315-pounder was a blue chip prospect who signed with Georgia, spent one year in Athens, then jumped to USC. He has pocket-collapsing ability and was an honorable-mention all-Pac-12 pick. If Alexander’s play to his potential consistently — we are slightly skeptical — he could emerge as a Day One selection.

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10. Cal TB Jaydn Ott. From our corner of the college football galaxy, Ott stands as the best tailback on his side of the Rockies. He possesses a terrific mix of speed, power and shiftiness. But only one tailback was selected in the top-two rounds of the 2024 draft. Ott might not be a top-50 pick, but he’s a solid bet for the top 100.

11. Arizona OT Jonah Savaiinaea. The Wildcats went 14 years without an offensive lineman getting drafted, but Savaiinaea should make it two Aprils in a row after Jordan Morgan went in the first round last week. Savaiinaea is a two-time honorable mention selection for the all-Pac-12 team with versatility (guard or tackle) that should boost his value.

12. Stanford OLB David Bailey. One of the top edge rushers on the West Coast will spend a good portion of his season playing on the East Coast. How Bailey performs against Clemson and Notre Dame will shape his draft stock, for better or worse. Look for a breakout season for the former blue chip recruit from prep powerhouse Mater Dei.

13. Oregon State OT Joshua Gray. The astounding rise of OSU’s Taliese Fuaga, from three-star recruit to the No. 14 pick, won’t be repeated. Gray does not grade out as a first rounder, in our view. But he’s plenty good enough to become a middle-round selection.

14. Boise State TB Ashton Jeanty. It’s easy to make the case that Jeanty, not Cal’s Ott, is the best tailback in the region. Powerful and compact, he rushed for more than 1,300 yards for the Broncos and had four games with five receptions. Which means he could be a multi-down back in the NFL. Which is good.

Wild card: Arizona CB Tacario Davis. We have placed Davis in a separate category because of a unique situation. He’s in the transfer portal but has participated in spring practice with the Wildcats. Wherever he lands, in Tucson or elsewhere, Davis will be an impact player and potential Day One selection next spring.

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