Player Spotlight: Texas WR Xavier Worthy

Can he be this draft's Tank Dell?

Texas Tech v Texas
Texas Tech v Texas / Tim Warner/GettyImages
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College: Texas

Age: 20

Position: Wide Receiver

Height: 6'1"

Weight: 170 pounds

Background

Xavier Worthy attended Central East High School in Fresno, California. Worthy has a track background where he ran a personal best 10.55 100 meter dash as a sophomore. He was a 4-star recruit and an all-American he originally committed to Michigan before he changed his commitment to Texas. In 2021, Worthy saw action in 12 games for the Longhorns where he made an instant impact with 62 receptions for 981 yards for an average of 15.8 yards per reception, with 12 TDs.

In 2022, his role shifted to a more vertical stretching role as Texas' skill players improved. He totaled 59 catches for 757 yards for an average of 12.9 yards per catch, with 8 TDs. 2023 has brought more of the same for him with 67 catches for 883 yards for an average of 13.1 yards per catch, with 5 touchdowns. In addition to his pass-catching Worthy has also returned punts during his time at Texas, He has one career punt return touchdown and averages 14.5 yards per return.

Strengths:

Speed: The first thing that has to be acknowledged with Worth is his game-changing speed. If he has the ball in his hands he is a threat to score. His ability to reach top speed is part of what makes him a dynamic threat. He's a natural strider that seems to glide past defenders, his track background shows in his ability to accelerate out of his breaks. He's managed to track the ball well at top speeds as well.

Versatility: Worthy has played the "joker" role for the Longhorns, he can be lined up anywhere in the offense to make an impact. He's taken snaps out wide, in the slot, out of the backfield and he's even been effective throwing the ball at times too. The gravitational pull of his speed is felt in the motion and screen game. Opponents respect his speed at all levels of the field which will integrate nicely into a modern NFL offense.

Agility: Despite his game-changing speed, Worthy never seems to "rush" his movements. This helps him as a route runner. He's fluid in and out of his breaks and varies speed nicely as a route runner. He's more than just a vertical field stretcher, he can take a slant to the house. His balance and awareness show at the boundary too, he leaves room for the sideline and has been a great target for a quarterback looking to drop a throw into his arms. He fits through tackles well for a player of his stature.

Weaknesses

Size: We've certainly seen small players have success as pass catchers this year. While 6'1" certainly is tall enough his slight frame combined with his height makes him susceptible to press coverage and more physical corners. Despite his size, he's never missed a game due to injury though. Some teams will view him as a slot-only option. His lack of play strength shows at the catch point at times.

Consistency at the catch point: Worthy has had some brutal drops this season but its more than just drops. He's struggled high pointing balls and catching them away from his body, particularly in contested catch situations. He tracks the ball well but hasn't displayed consistency at fighting through contact to make plus catches.

Finding soft spots in Zone: Worthy to this point has demonstrated the ability to beat man coverage consistently. Against zone coverage, he can look lost at times. He will need to continue to develop the ability to read defenses and find the soft spots in zone to maximize his skill set

Draft Projection

Top 50 pick: Players with Worthy's speed and tape aren't likely to fall out of the 2nd round. While speedy players like Jalin Hyatt have fallen most of that has been due to not having other dominant NFL traits. He's been asked to do more than just stretch defenses. With his track background, he'll likely be one of the quickest players in the draft and teams will covet that trait.

NFL Comparison: Jameson Williams

Worthy might be just a little bit more slight of build at playing weight than Williams but their primary traits stick. The long strides, fluid movements and run after the catch ability both dominate their scouting reports. Similarly, there's room for growth as route runners and at the catch point as well. Worthy has all the traits to be an NFL vertical threat and much more.

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