Several anonymous NFL scouts and Pac-12 coaches spoke to ESPN’s Pete Thamel for a story on Friday that highlighted the key storyline at the heart of Colorado’s 3-0 start. Through three weeks, it appears this is a team that is better than the sum of its parts.

An anonymous scout said Colorado might have one draftable player in the top three rounds of the 2024 NFL Draft — quarterback Shedeur Sanders. Another said the Buffs are a well-coached team without a ton of great players.

Most were in agreement that Sanders is a star. But they were also concerned about Colorado’s ability to protect him and hold up against teams built on physicality.

That might not apply to USC, who the Buffs will welcome to Folsom Field in Week 5, but it does with Oregon.

“I think Oregon is going to boat race them,” an opposing assistant coach told Thamel. “Oregon is different upfront. There’s a lot of bark, not much bite to Colorado. When they run into the bigger dogs in the Pac-12, it’s going to come to an end.”

The 10th-ranked Ducks are second nationally in rushing yards per carry through three games. That’s without quarterback Bo Nix looking to use his legs, like he did a year ago.

There are questions about Oregon’s run defense, but Colorado doesn’t appear equipped or interested in taking advantage. The Ducks, on the other hand, are almost certainly going to attack Colorado’s 121st-ranked run defense.

Oregon is favored by three scores. We’ll find out soon enough if Colorado can keep silencing doubters.

Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. PT on ABC.