Baltimore Ravens NFL draft profile: Iowa State WR, Xavier Hutchinson
Xavier Hutchinson broke out for Iowa State in 2020 with 771 yards. He followed that up with 83 catches for 990 yards and continued his ascension with 1,171 and six touchdowns on 161 targets last season. He was the Iowa State offense.
His yards per route run improved each season from 2.18, to 2.55 to 2.72, showing improvement each season. He finished with 1,172 routes run, with 294 in the slot, and 939 outside.
After his impressive career he was invited to the Senior Bowl as well as the NFL combine.
Hutchinson has good size to him, but he is not the most explosive athlete. This does match his play style.
How Xavier Hutchinson translates to the NFL
Xavier Hutchinson is a possession wide receiver who can get peppered with targets in the short to intermediate areas. Even though he played just 25% of his snaps in the slot in college that may be his best fit.
That is because that is where he exceeds. Last season he had 761 yards against zone coverage and 187 against man coverage. He does not have the quick feet or the sharpest routes and he cannot win with the ball in the air.
His ADOT has been under 10 for his entire career, one of the lower marks in college. That is because he is best at getting into space, and sitting in the soft spots in zone.
He is always open against zone making it so easy to target him. From there, he is crafty with the ball in his hands. Still, he is not dynamic down the field, and his role is pretty defined to catching short passes toward the middle of the field.
NFL comparison for Xavier Hutchinson
The best NFL comparison for Xavier Hutchinson is Tyler Boyd. There is a strong physical comparison. The role he has with the Bengals is exactly how Hutchinson would thrive. He is not the best route runner, but he knows how to find open spaces, and knows to work with the ball in his hands. He is a reliable underneath target, but you do not hear about Boyd taking the top off or making huge plays down the field.
Having bigger outside wide receivers open up the short stuff for Boyd would also be the best landing spot for someone like Xavier Hutchinson. From there, you have a reliable slot wideout.
Should Baltimore Ravens draft Xavier Hutchinson?
As of right now, they have Rasod Bateman and Nelson Agholor and both of them would be on the outside. Both are speed players, and both would take the safety's attention. With Mark Andrews stretching the seam, Hutchinson would be an excellent safety blanket in that short area over the middle
Xavier Hutchinson is currently projected to go in the fourth round. If the Ravens do not go wide receiver in the first round, he has to be in their consideration on day two.