Iowa State Media Department

PRO 2023 Rookie Spotlight: Xavier Hutchinson, WR Iowa State

Rookie Spotlight: Xavier Hutchinson, WR Iowa State
Height: 6-3 (unofficial)
Weight: 205 (unofficial)
40 yard dash: 4.56 (estimated)
2023 Age: 23
NFL Comparison: Kennan Allen, Isaiah Hodgins
Breakout Age: 20 (sophomore)

Offensive Market Share Metrics (Final Season)

Receptions: 34%
Receiving Yards: 37%
Receiving TDs: 32%
Total Production Percentage: 34%

As a high school prospect: Class of 2018; unranked

– 2022 First-team All-American (AP and PFF)
– Twice named First-Team All Big 12
– 2022 Biletnikoff Award Finalist
– Broke out in first season at Iowa State (Big 12 Newcomer of the year)
– Ultra-productive, centerpiece of ISU offense post-Breece Hall
– Polished, clean and experienced
– Nearly every game was a highlight reel of its own in 2022
– Impressive size and length
– Can make natural adjustments to separate and track/frame the football
– Good route runner, good release package
– Can win versus man, but clearly much more targeted versus zone; great at finding soft spots
– Very trustworthy possession receiver with added benefit of size
– Can line up anywhere, played 29% of 2022 snaps out of the slot
– 4th-highest receiving grade in CFB for 2022 by Pro Football Focus

– Lacks elite long-speed and twitch
– Big and long but not the stoutest; a more slender build
– Can separate with length, ability to adjust, natural coordination and power but not raw explosiveness
– Has certain plays where he is beastly after-catch, but on the whole is often lacking
– Fairly low aDOT (9.2 yards)
– Not a consistent home-run hitter (longest 2022 reception was 38 yards)

Scouting Notes: Hutchinson was an ultra-productive star for the Cyclones during his time in Ames, racking up more honors and accolades than recent ISU NFL hopefuls like Allen Lazard and Hakeem Butler. In 2022, Hutchinson only had one game with less than 8 receptions and that was a game he exited early. He has good hands, great coordination and tracking ability, and the requisite length to separate without utilizing explosive burst. Surprisingly given his physical profile, he was more productive versus zone coverage than he was versus man, garnering a near-60% target rate against zone shells as compared to a 21.1% rate when facing man-on-man per PFF. In this mold, Hutchinson was somewhat of an accumulator on low aDOT throws where his yards-after-catch ability was off-and-on (only 4.2 YAC/reception in 2022). He lacks elite long speed and seems to lack great explosive burst, but is extremely dependable and a dynamic weapon as a possession-receiver-plus.

Fantasy Outlook: The Senior Bowl and Combine testing will be big for Hutchinson, who will almost surely end up in the overall Top 100 consideration with decent showings. No one is expecting Hutchinson (we don’t think) to burn a sub-4.4 40-time, but solid explosive testing combined with good agility work should show he has the requisite athleticism to continue honing his already well-polished skill set at the next level. He’s a good route runner that is dependable and has shown he can take over football games at the college level. If he is a Day 2 pick, he’ll likely end up in a situation where he’ll have a chance to eventually work into a No.1 role, with a basic assurance that he would be in position to become an upside No.2 of sorts. You could easily see him in an eventual setup where he is the Keenan Allen to another player’s Mike Williams. While his fantasy stock is sure to change between this filing and the NFL draft, in early traditional dynasty rookie drafts, he can confidently be targeted as a Top 10 WR prospect in the 2023 class with some room for upward mobility from there, which would put him in the late-second/early-third round discussion for the super-early drafters out there in traditional 12-team, 1 QB leagues.

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