Xavier Hutchinson is a rarity in this year’s wide receiver draft class. Before playing Division I football, he made a quick pitstop, playing two seasons of junior college football at Blinn College in Brenham, Texas. Hutchinson had multiple Division I offers before he committed to Iowa State. He was undoubtedly able to transition from Blinn College to Iowa State. The question is will he be able to make the transition to the NFL?
- College: Iowa State
- Height: 6’2″
- Weight: 203 lbs.
- Hand Size: 9 3/8″
- Age: 22
- Year: Redshirt Senior
- Draft Projection: Late Day Two or Early Day Three
After his two seasons at Blinn College, he played three seasons at Iowa State. Hutchinson was able to produce immediately for the Cyclones. He was the team leader in receptions and receiving yards in all three seasons at Iowa State. He walked onto campus during his redshirt sophomore season and had a productive season with 64 receptions on 93 targets and 771 yards. In his redshirt junior season, he backed it up with his most productive season analytically. He ended up with 2.45 YPTPA, 39.5% Dominator, and 37.2% Receiving Market Share. In his redshirt senior season, he ended his college career on a high with 107 on 161 targets and 1,171 receiving yards.
Hutchinson does many things well; body control might be his best attribute. He was often able to twist his body and get in position to make awkward catches. Having the catch radius he has and his ability to twist his body allows him to get to some balls that other receivers can’t. When he is in the air, he can compete for contested catches.
Yards After Catch
Hutchinson can be deadly when he catches the ball with any space. He has good side-to-side movement, allowing him to set up and get around defenders. On screen plays, he uses the space given and the open field to get a few extra yards, if not more.
Hutchinson can also be a weapon in intermediate plays as well. His agility and decent speed allow Hutchinson to get up the field and make extra yardage. On this slant route, Hutchinson slipped an ankle tackle and used his momentum and agility to make the second defender miss, gaining an additional seven yards.
Hutchinson used his hands well over the entire football field. From routes of all depths, he rarely allows the ball to get into his body. In the below clip, he does multiple things I like. At the end of his break, he reaches out with the defender on him and can still pluck the ball out of the air and secure the catch.
Hutchinson, at times, did have a few concentration drops. But everything he does well impresses me enough not to worry about that much. He doesn’t let the ball get into his body and uses his hands to secure most of his receptions.
Hutchinson isn’t the greatest route runner and doesn’t have the largest route tree. But the one that I like and will definitely help him in the NFL is his out route. For example, he can dip his hips and break outside consistently.
Hutchinson is a decent athlete but doesn’t show superb athleticism to make him an elite receiver. His RAS shows that he will need to work on what he does well to make those attributes better for him overall. He uses his football IQ and what he does well to compensate for some of the lack of athleticism.
Hutchinson is not fast and doesn’t have breakaway speed. There are a lot of times when it looks like he is not open; he doesn’t have the ability to break away from the defender. This is one major reason most of his catches are on short and intermediate routes. In the NFL, he won’t be a guy who runs deep routes too often.
Hutchinson is not an elite wide receiver. More importantly, that is perfectly okay because he does many things well and is an above-average receiver. You can’t watch his film and not be generally intrigued if not impressed.
Hutchinson will be an asset to whichever wide receiver core he is drafted. Hutchinson will be either a late-day-two or early-day-three draft pick. For fantasy, he is a mid to late third-round pick. I see him as a WR3/flex option with the opportunity to provide splash WR2 weeks in the future.
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