STILLWATER, OK - OCTOBER 22:  Ollie Gordon II #0 and Cameron Epps #23 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys celebrate after stopping Xavier Worthy #8 of the Texas Longhorns with a 1-yard gain on a punt in the first quarter at Boone Pickens Stadium on October 22, 2022 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.  Oklahoma State won 41-34.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
STILLWATER, OK - OCTOBER 22: Ollie Gordon II #0 and Cameron Epps #23 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys celebrate after stopping Xavier Worthy #8 of the Texas Longhorns with a 1-yard gain on a punt in the first quarter at Boone Pickens Stadium on October 22, 2022 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Oklahoma State won 41-34. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Xavier Worthy Produces Weak Game Film

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SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – DECEMBER 29: Xavier Worthy #1 of the Texas Longhorns stands on the sideline in the fourth quarter against the Washington Huskies during the Valero Alamo Bowl at Alamodome on December 29, 2022 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

I was not impressed with Texas Longhorns’ wide receiver Xavier Worthy for the second straight season.

A lot of things I didn’t like on his 2022 game film showed up again in 2023.

This is a tricky evaluation because Worthy has explosive speed and short-area burst, but it doesn’t translate into making a big difference.

This receiver looked and played small. He was horrible on contested catches and his catch radius is below average. In other words, he’s not going out of his way to catch anything. It had better be on the money or forget about it.

Nope ⎯I couldn’t get into this one.

Off-season warning to NFL teams

This is exactly the type of prospect who will shine at his Pro Day when he takes off the pads in exchange for gym shorts.

Undoubtedly, he’ll look like a superstar running around the cones and doing his thing, but that’s not a football game.

It’s not just about raw ‘traits.’

The traits must show up and be confirmed on the game film. I’m convinced that more mistakes are made by NFL scouting departments from the day the college season ends until draft day because the off-season workouts cloud the reality of game film.

Big mistake.

The pre-draft events are great for getting inside the prospects’ heads and seeing how they respond to unfamiliar surroundings (and teammates), but there is no substitute for the game film.

Worthy had some rough tape. If you don’t believe me, turn on the Kansas State game.

What did Worthy look like?

Inconsistent, weak, and small.

Those are the words I would use if I were a scout sitting in a team’s pre-draft meetings.

HE LACKS PLAYING STRENGTH ⎯THIS IS A MAJOR PROBLEM.

Worthy was best when he was wide open. He was at his worst when he wasn’t. That may sound funny, but it’s the truth. That summarizes it.

The interesting thing about this Texas receiver is he is decent at yards after the catch (YAC), but inconsistent at doing it. He isn’t elusive in the open field and often gets tackled pretty quickly after catches.

Texas threw a lot of short screen passes his way with mixed results picking up additional yardage.

Catch rate

The primary job of a wide receiver is to catch the football.

What does Worthy’s college career catch rate look like?

2021: 62 receptions on 104 targets (60%)

2022: 60 receptions on 117 targets (51%)

2023: 75 receptions on 121 targets (62%)

Feeling watching his film

I didn’t like the feeling watching his film left me with.

The lack of big plays for someone with his raw quickness and speed was alarming.

Worthy looked like an NFL team’s third, fourth, or fifth receiver. He didn’t look like an NFL starter. Teams could find something similar on the waiver wire. This Texas receiver looked bland when considering his full body of work.

#1 Xavier Worthy 6-foot-1, 172 pounds

Daniel Kelly’s 2024 NFL Draft Grade: Fifth-Round (I wouldn’t select him)

Projected by 46.4% of the NFL Draft Community to be a first-round pick as of January 29, 2024 (nflmockdraftdatabase.com)

Former Scout Identifies Laziness in Texas Receiver Xavier Worthy (7 games evaluated in 2022)

2023 game film reviewed: Kansas State, Kansas, Alabama, Oklahoma, Rice, Wyoming, Baylor, and BYU (click to view games watched to form this evaluation)

2023 stats: 75 receptions for 1,014 yards (13.5 avg.), 5 TD, long of 54

Note: Previous injury information (ankle and hand)

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Inconsistent diminutive receiver at all three route levels (short, intermediate, and deep) with average flexibility. Quick as a hiccup. Works in the slot and sometimes out wide. Undependable. Determined runner. Not elusive. Best on short uncontested bubble screens. Otherwise, brought down quickly. Rounded off looking breakpoints further downfield. Excels at shallow to intermediate comebacks and crossing routes dragging across the middle of the field and running away from coverage. Not good on 50-50 balls or contested passes intermediate to deep. Lacks timing. Needs to work in open space, which is hard to acquire. Raw juice to get deep, can initially shed coverage, but the issue is getting into position to catch the ball against corners. Willing to block.

Final words

Weak lightning in a bottle.

Daniel Kelly is a former NFL Scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief for First Round Mock, contributes at Yardbarker, and has written for Sports Illustrated Lions, Jets, and 49ers, as well as a featured guest on ESPN Radio and Fox Sports Radio. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @firstroundmock.

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