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2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Xavier Worthy

Xavier Worthy is a talented wide receiver, that the world seems to have forgotten. Many believe Worthy to have taken a step back this past season due to his touchdown production going down from 12 in 2021 and nine in 2022 to only five in 2023. This is mainly due to the addition of transfer receiver Adonai Mitchell, whose 6'4 frame commanded a lot of the red zone targets.  

Worthy was an incredibly reliable target overall, joining a very elite list of Longhorns who have surpassed the 1,000-yard receiving mark. The question now is, can he take this production to the next level and become the next breakout undersized receiver?

Player Bio

Name: Xavier Worthy

Jersey: No. 8/ No. 1

Position: Wide Receiver

School: The University of Texas

Class: Junior

Weight: 165 lbs

Games Watched: vs. Alabama, Oklahoma, and TCU (2022), vs. Alabama, Kansas, Oklahoma St (2023)

Major Injury History: N/A

Hands/Ball Security (13/15)

Xavier Worthy recorded five drops in 2023, but he has proven himself to have soft and reliable hands when the ball comes his way. Additionally, he did not fumble during his college career despite recording over 200 touches. His ball skills and ability to put himself into a good position help to secure passes thrown his way. 

Contested Catch (4/10)

This is one part of Worthy's game that is afflicted by the major flaw every scout talks about size. Worthy excels when he can create space in routes and beat defenders over the middle, but on outside 50-50 balls, he simply lacks the size and power to go up and get them.

Tracking/Body Control (8.5/10)

Watching Worthy go to work is exhilarating. He always seems to find a way to be in the right place at the right time. Worthy has proven his ability to get under the ball while maintaining top speed, whether it's an over-the-shoulder ball or an acrobatic diving catch. 

Route Running (7/10)

Xavier Worthy is very fluid in his movements throughout routes. He might be the most explosive prospect from this year's draft, yet he can stop on a dime while running full speed. One area he could improve is against zone defenses. At times, Worthy struggles to feel out zone defenses and lacks the discipline to sit in the zone. Route running against zone defenses is the area of his game that could use the most improvement.  

Separation (9.5/10)

Worthy brings this to the table. His blinding speed allows him to get multiple steps ahead of his defenders and record catches on the outside. Additionally, Xavier Worthy knows how to use his speed. He makes sharp cuts, and his release gets him up to top speeds relatively quickly. 

Release (9.25/10)

Xavier Worthy has the best get-off of any college receiver I have ever seen. He could work on leverage and using body position to give himself advantageous positions against off-coverage, but in man-to man, there are very few corners who could stay with him. 

Run After the Catch (8.5/10)

Speed, speed, and more speed. He can use angles and incredible acceleration to get out fast. If he gets a good angle, he is tough to catch. He doesn't usually run through many defenders, but that does not mean he won't extend the play against some smaller corners. 

Vertical Speed (10/10)

This year Worthy recorded the fastest 40-yard dash in NFL Combine history. He has fantastic acceleration and shows great endurance throughout contests. Good luck catching him once you lose a step on the former Longhorn. 

Burst/Acceleration (10/10)

Because of his incredible acceleration and slender build, Worthy can reach top speeds without issue. In his routes, he both stops and starts with ease despite reaching high velocities. He is explosive in all the right ways. I know this only says burst and acceleration, but his ability to stop and restart his engine is just as important. Xavier Worthy is elite in this regard.

Athleticism (4/5)

As stated previously, Worthy can control his body and shift in ways very few players can. He breaks down well in routes and can shift even the most disciplined defensive backs to extend a play. If he has the ball in his hands, the play always seems to get a few extra yards from either a leap or juke by Xavier Worthy.

Blocking (1/5)

While Worthy welcomes contact, he cannot consistently block well due to his stature. It is difficult to dominate the line of scrimmage at 170 lbs. What he does well is give effort, and these days, not every receiver is willing to be an effort player on run plays. 

Versatility (1.5/5)

With Xavier Worthy, you know what you're getting. He is a speedy slot receiver who can dice defenses with incredible speed and acceleration. He will not magically become a jump ball man and likely will never be big enough to fight off contact on the outside consistently. The only reason he earns any points here is because he has shown the ability to carry the ball on jet sweeps and make plays on screen passes. Generally speaking, he is a smaller and quicker wide receiver who can make a miss after the catch but won't do much on lofted end zone or outside 50-50 balls. 

Player Summary

Overall, Xavier Worthy exhibits one of the unique profiles of this wide receiver class. He is similar in many ways to a more recent brand of receiver like Tank Dell of the Houston Texans or Devonta Smith of the Philadelphia Eagles, both of which make up for a lack of size and length by blowing past defenders. Lose a step on either one of them or Worthy, and you are bound to give up some serious yardage. The upside of undeniable speed and athleticism must also be weighed in with the downsides of lack of versatility and the potential for injury. Worthy will be a solid player in the NFL who can help teams at the slot receiver position. 

Rookie Projection: Starting Slot Receiver (2nd or 3rd Option)

Third-Year Projection: Fringe Pro Bowl Caliber Receiver

Final Grade: (86.25/100) Late 1st-Round Talent

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