Carolina Panthers 2024 NFL Draft scouting report: Xavier Legette

The Carolina Panthers have shown interest in wide receiver prospect Xavier Legette. Could he be a target with pick No. 33 or No. 39?
Xavier Legette
Xavier Legette / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 3

Xavier Legette scouting report

  • Height: 6-foot-1 | Weight: 221 pounds
  • Hand size: 9 inches | 31 7/8 inches
  • ranking: WR13 | 2023 PFF grade: 82.5

Over Xavier Legette’s five-year career at the University of South Carolina, he amassed 113 receptions, 1,678 receiving yards, and 12 touchdowns. The 2023 season alone accounted for most of that production when he caught 71 passes for 1,255 yards and seven scores.

Typically, a late breakout such as one by a fifth-year senior raises a red flag in the football analytics world. Legette’s journey isn’t a straightforward one, however.

Legette began his high school playing days as a wide receiver but was asked to play quarterback during his senior season. He performed well, but it didn’t help his receiver development at such a pivotal stage.

He grey-shirted upon arrival to South Carolina, only to then be followed up by COVID hitting the scene. Coaching change followed that. He was involved in a motorcycle accident in 2021 that caused him to miss a couple of games and potentially may have hindered on-field performances.

Legette also dealt with far more than his fair share of personal adversity and tragedy. The Mullins native lost both of his parents - his mother in 2015 and his father in 2019 - before even playing a down of college football. He is one of four siblings, and he plays the game with a clear remembering of how important family is and how they are rooting for him to be great.

His ability to persevere is pertinent to who Legette is on the football field, as well. By all accounts, he’s one of the hardest workers in the locker room and on the field. When he got his opportunity, he ran with it (pun intended).

The size and speed combination (4.39-second 40-yard dash) that the prospect brings to the wide receiver position isn’t a common one. He is oft compared to players like D.K. Metcalf and A.J. Brown in that regard. In my rankings, he lands at WR9 and is the No. 46 overall prospect on the board.

When considering a prospect with that type of frame, you wonder about his prowess as a big-play receiver. That’s where Legette can shine. He’s terrific in the catch phase, routinely using his first-class leaping ability (40-inch vertical at the NFL Scouting Combine) and wingspan to high-point the ball and finish with his strong hands in contested catch opportunities.

He did expand upon his route tree this past season, but he currently gets the best results on vertical planes. Legette displays a great burst off the line when defenses give cushion, getting into the defensive back and using his devastating speed to gain a winning position behind them. The wideout also boasts good tracking ability, specifically when running vertically.

I spoke about the obstacles and disruptions of his development as a receiver because the lack of polish still shows at times. Legette could improve upon general awareness of where he is and where he’s working to get to on the field - whether it be in blocking assignments or against zone coverages.

Often I noted seeing him run past a defender and try to double back to make the block, which is much more difficult and less likely to do from that vantage point. While he did expand the route tree, Legette will still have work to do to progress to a point where he can consistently win in the short and intermediate levels.

Legette has a tendency to round off breaks instead of sinking his hips and sharply changing direction. However, there are good examples on his tape of doing just that as well.