2024 Dynasty Rookie Early Look: Xavier Worthy, WR Texas

Richard Cooling

Wide receivers are the key position in dynasty circles. Building your franchise around young superstar wide receivers is considered the way to build a sustainable franchise. In recent years, it’s not just been the superstars who have returned on the investment. The likes of Jayden Reed, Rashee Rice, Tank Dell, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and Nico Collins have all represented excellent value outside the first round.

The 2024 receiver class looks like another fantastic collection of players. The majority are bigger-bodied receivers, but there is one who stands out as being a little different. Can Xavier Worthy be the next undersized receiver to hit the ground running in the NFL?

Recruitment

Worthy was a superstar from Central East High School in Fresno, California. He was graded as a four-star prospect and the #13 WR and 100th overall player in 2021.

He had offers from the majority of the major programs in college, including Georgia, Alabama, Michigan, and LSU. After committing to Michigan, he decommitted and ended up playing for the Longhorns in Texas.

Collegiate Career

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Stats courtesy of Sports Reference.

From the second he stepped foot in Austin, Worthy has produced like a star. Putting up just short of 1,000 yards as a true freshman while finding the end zone 12 times is incredibly impressive. When you add in the fact that the majority of those receiving yards came with Casey Thompson under center, who is more of a journeyman college quarterback than a player you would expect big things from, it is even more impressive.

In his sophomore season, many expected Worthy to take a step forward, and although he had a decent season, it was a somewhat disappointing year, as he posted the worst numbers in his college career. His yards per route run dropped below 2.0 for the only time in his collegiate career. The eye-opening thing is that he was used differently during this sophomore season, where he was used even more as a deep threat with an aDOT of 17.3 compared to 13.4 and 10.3 in his other two seasons, respectively.

Things rebounded in 2023 as the Longhorns made a run to the college playoffs, and Worthy had another phenomenal season, leading them in yards and receptions for the third consecutive season.

Strengths

  • Elite speed (10.55 100m at 16)
  • Excellent route runner
  • Ability to line up inside and outside
  • Great tracking the ball downfield
  • Super smooth in and out of cuts

Weaknesses

  • Undersized (likely under 180 lbs)
  • Can be bullied on routes
  • Struggles in contested catch situations
  • Had some issues with drops

Draft Value

NFL Mock Draft Database has Xavier worthy as an early second-round pick, currently 39th overall, and the eighth wide receiver drafted. It may sound like he is not an elite prospect when you say he is the eighth wide receiver off the board, but it just highlights this class’s quality and depth. It is unlikely that Worthy gets that dream scenario of first-round draft capital, but early to mid-second-round capital will still be strong enough to provide some fantastic dynasty upside.

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Courtesy of NFL Mock Draft Database.

Dynasty Outlook

Worthy is currently projected to be a late first-round pick in 1QB drafts and an early second-round pick in superflex drafts. Because of his stature, he is not the type of player who will shoot up draft boards or get overhyped. He is, however, the type of player who will be forgotten about and be a value wherever he lands in rookie drafts. Proven elite performers at a young age for elite college programs are usually the safest bets to make the transition to the NFL and become consistent fantasy producers.

The biggest knock on Worthy is his size. However, that is also the case for recent players such as DeVonta Smith, Tank Dell, and Jayden Reed. They’ve all become cornerstones of your dynasty franchise and steals in their respective rookie drafts. The NFL is different from what it was in the 90s and 2000s. Teams no longer require their receivers to go over the middle and absorb hits from Linebackers and safeties. Smaller-bodied receivers can utilize their elite agility and separation skills without the fear of being beaten up physically.

I have very little concern about Worthy, and he will likely be one of my most drafted rookies in May.

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