by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Texas Athletics.
The NFL Draft talk never ends, and we are here at Draft 412 in an effort to keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars. From today until draft night 2024, we will bring you mocks, profiles, team needs, and everything else related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Texas, WR-Xavier Worthy
Name- Xavier Worthy
HT/WT- 6’1” 163 lbs.
Home – Fresno, CA
Xavier Worthy attended Central East High School in Fresno, CA. He starred as a football player and track and field. Worthy, an ESPN four-star recruit, originally signed a letter of intent to play football at the University of Michigan in December of 2020. However, in April of 2021 Worthy decommitted from Michigan and chose to take his services to Texas instead.
Worthy had a fantastic freshman season leading the Big 12 with 62 receptions for 981 yards and 12 touchdowns finishing 5th among FBS freshmen. He took a step back in his sophomore season but still put up productive numbers with 60 receptions for 760 yards and 9 touchdown receptions.
Worthy is a playmaker with the ball in his hands, and the Longhorns design packages just for him, including jet sweeps and misdirection gadget plays to get Worthy spread out with one-on-one opportunities. He’s a smooth athlete who has an explosive first step and can stretch the field and teams shy away from covering him one-on-one with his speed and shiftiness.
He’s able to fight his way through man-to-man press coverage, has good balance and uses his hands well to shed defensive backs. Worthy excels playing “outside the numbers” and has exceptional ball tracking skills, setting up his quarterback well against the sideline by leaving a lane for the ball to drop in.
Worthy’s slight frame could be a hindrance at the next level as larger, stronger defenders can knock him off his route. He needs to do better against zone coverage in finding the soft spots in the defense instead of running himself out of an open target.
Worthy may not have the size or strength to consistently win outside battles. He needs to add weight to his 160 lb. frame to play in the NFL as a starter. He’s an exceptional player over the middle now in college, but may not be able to take on the rigors of doing this consistently at the NFL level.
Elite Speed/Smooth athletic routes
Good outside the numbers
Good hands, great in space
Willingness to make plays in traffic/playmaker
May struggle with making plays over the middle
Improve routes vs. zone coverage
Has to prove he can navigate vs. larger/stronger defenders
Xavier Worthy reminds Draft 412 of Denver Bronco, Jerry Jeudy, with his build and speed. Chances are, Worthy will be a top five wide receiver in this draft and could be a late first or early second round pick.
Prediction- Late first/early 2nd round in 2024.