Browns Eyeing Record-Breaking WR at NFL Combine

Browns general manager Andrew Berry had a formal meeting with Xavier Worthy.

Getty Images Browns general manager Andrew Berry had a formal meeting with Xavier Worthy.

The Cleveland Browns had a formal meeting with record-breaking Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy at the NFL combine and could be targeting the speedster in April’s draft.

Worthy made headlines with his 4.21 40-yard dash on Saturday. The time was the fastest ever at the combine, breaking the record of 4.22 held by John Ross. That performance will bolster Worthy’s draft stock but the Browns may still have a chance to snag him.

He was already on the Browns’ radar. Cleveland’s brass met with Worthy prior to his record-setting performance, per Noah Weiskopf of TheOBR. The Browns do not have a first-round pick due to the Deshaun Watson trade. Their first pick is in the second round at No. 54 overall.

ESPN ranks Worthy as the No. 9 wide receiver and No. 42 overall. There’s a chance he could be available when the Browns are on the clock but his stock is only going to go up after his record-setting run.

Worthy caught 75 passes with Texas last season, registering 1,014 yards and 5 touchdowns. He had 62 catches for 981 yards as a freshman and 60 catches for 760 yards during his sophomore campaign. He found the end zone 26 times as a member of the Longhorns.

Xavier Worthy’s Slight Frame is Something for Browns to Consider

Xavier Worthy posted the fasted 40-yard dash time in combine history on Saturday.

Getty ImagesXavier Worthy posted the fasted 40-yard dash time in combine history on Saturday.

The Browns have also met with some other notable wide receiver names at the combine. That includes Virginia’s Malik Washington, Alabama’s Jermaine Burton and Oregon’s Troy Franklin.

There are some concerns with Worthy. He’s very small at 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds and will need a larger frame to be a consistent producer at the next level. Here’s what analyst Lance Zierlein had to say about Worthy.

“Worthy’s draft slotting could come down to draft-room debates weighing his elite speed versus his thin frame. Worthy will find separation if allowed to explore vertically or across the hashes against man coverage, but he lacks play strength and release quickness to defeat a quality NFL press. His quick-strike potential adds an element of danger over the top and should open wider windows for teammates to work into. He lacks the physical tools to catch when contested and needs to prove he can hold up to a more physical brand of football. Worthy is a niche prospect for teams looking to add a legit field-stretcher, but areas of concern could create a wider gap between ceiling and floor.”

The Browns have drafted wide receivers in the third round the last three years. David Bell came on board in 2022 and Cedric Tillman was taken last season. The Browns selected Anthony Schwartz in 2021. Similar to Worthy, the Browns were impressed with his speed. He ran a 4.25 40-yard dash at his pro day but it never translated to on-field success. Schwartz was cut last season and finished his Browns career with just 14 catches for 186 yards.

Browns Want to Add More Weapons for Deshaun Watson

Wide receiver is likely to be a focus for the Browns this offseason. Amari Cooper carried the passing game last season. He registered 1,250 yards on 72 catches, snagging passes from four different quarterbacks. Elijah Moore (59 catches, 640 yards) and tight end David Njoku (81 catches, 882 yards) were also solid contributors.

Browns GM Andrew Berry wouldn’t go as far as to call it a “top priority” to add a receiver. But he did acknowledge the team could look to add a playmaker or two this offseason.

“I mean, we’re still in the assessment mode. We feel pretty good about our group of pass catchers,” Berry told The Athletic on February 1. “I don’t know very many teams across the NFL that have two Pro Bowl-caliber pass catchers (Amari Cooper and David Njoku) and a good complementary crew. We’re always looking to add playmakers. … But I think it would be aggressive (to call that the) top priority.”

The Browns will be getting Watson back for the start of next season after season-ending shoulder surgery. Watson has played in just 12 games through his first two seasons in Cleveland due to a lengthy suspension and shoulder injuries.

Read More