Commanders Predicted to Land Playmaker With ‘Athletic Gifts’

Travis Hunter

Getty University of Colorado cornerback/wide receiver and potential 2025 first-round pick Travis Hunter.

Part of the fun of trying to predict what players will land where in any given NFL draft is how they will fit with certain teams. In the case of Colorado defensive back/wide receiver Travis Hunter, that could mean so many things.

CBS Sports has Hunter headed to the Washington Commanders at No. 4 overall in a very early 2025 mock draft that would see the 2023 Paul Hornung Award winner playing alongside Washington’s No. 2 overall pick in 2024 in LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels.

Or, he and Daniels might never take the field together on offense even if they’re on the same team. One of the more intriguing things about Hunter’s prospects as an NFL player is what side of the ball he might end up on — do teams want a shutdown corner or a game-changing wide receiver?

Hunter could be both.

“Hunter has the athletic gifts to be a top-five selection as mostly a cornerback, who can also simply make plays as a receiver and return man,” wrote CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso. “Another fun element in Washington with Jayden Daniels.”

Hunter Draws Comparisons to NFL Elite

NFL scouting website NFL Draft Buzz compared Hunter to three of the NFL’s elite players at his defensive position in its latest evaluation; New England Patriots cornerback Christian Gonzalez, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Devon Witherspoon and Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Trent McDuffie.

All three players were first-round picks, with McDuffie winning a Super Bowl and making his first NFL All-Pro Team in 2023.

Witherspoon was the No. 5 overall pick in 2023 out of Illinois and earned a Pro Bowl selection as a rookie.

On Hunter’s strengths, NFL Draft Buzz wrote:

“Instinctive, adept at reading routes and anticipating throws, and strong in zone coverage … Hunter tracks the ball well downfield and has the ball skills and easy leaping ability to high-point the ball and come down with the interception.”

Commanders May Have Missed With ’23 Corner

Whether it’s Hunter or a different player, it’s not hard to see the Commanders looking for an elite defensive back in the 2025 NFL draft.

That’s after what appears to be a big miss with their first-round pick in 2023, when they selected Mississippi State cornerback Emmanuel Forbes at No. 16 overall.

While Forbes set the FBS record with 6 interception returns for touchdowns, his 6-foot, 166-pound frame didn’t hold up as he struggled mightily as a rookie.

Most notably, Forbes had a “Welcome to the NFL” moment in Week 4 when Philadelphia Eagles star wide receiver A.J. Brown lit him up for 9 receptions, 175 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns.

Forbes ended up benched multiple times during the season.

He’ll get a new start under first-year head coach Dan Quinn, who spoke positively about Forbes at the NFL’s annual meetings in March.

“I did a lot of work on Forbes coming from the draft before that,” Quinn said. “The number one thing that stood out was the ball skills and the ability to go take the ball (and) eliminate it. When you have that kind of rare ball skills and return ability with it, that’s his superpower. That’s I think what makes him so unique.”

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