Xavier Legette’s Dynasty Rookie Profile | Carolina Panthers WR Fantasy Football Outlook

After earning first-round NFL Draft capital, what can dynasty managers expect from Xavier Legette in his rookie year with the Carolina Panthers?

The Carolina Panthers‘ main objective this offseason was to surround second-year quarterback Bryce Young with more playmakers on the perimeter heading into his first year with new head coach Dave Canales.

After trading for Diontae Johnson this offseason, the Panthers felt compelled to trade up for South Carolina WR Xavier Legette as the final pick of the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

What can dynasty managers expect from Legette’s rookie season in Carolina?

Should You Draft Xavier Legette in Dynasty Fantasy Football?

Adam Thielen may have finished as the WR17 overall last year, but that wasn’t enough to prevent the Panthers from aggressively prioritizing the receiver position this offseason.

Young’s production — or lack thereof — was a colossal disappointment, with him throwing for just 11 TDs to go with 10 INTs over 16 games played his rookie year.

Part of the problem was the lack of separation the wide receiver room was able to consistently generate.

Thielen, Jonathan Mingo, DJ Chark, and Terrace Marshall Jr. simply didn’t do Young many favors in 2023.

Now, enter Legette into the equation, and we could have a different story.

His physical profile is impressive at 6’1’’, 221 pounds while boasting great vertical speed (4.39-second 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine) instantly gives the Panthers an outside vertical presence who stretches the field.

MORE: Dynasty Rookie Rankings

Additionally, Legette is a great contested catch producer with a wide catch radius. He also has the type of contact balance, play strength, and explosive burst to churn out extra yards after the catch.

If Young can improve as a passer in Year 2 in an improved offensive scheme, Legette’s fantasy outlook would be much more exciting. Yet, dynasty managers will want to limit the expectations of Legette early in his career while he acclimates to the NFL and Young settles into his new offense.

Who Is Legette?

Background

Legette was deployed as a versatile offensive weapon during his prep days at Mullins High School in South Carolina, playing quarterback his senior year. He finished 2,713 total yards and 33 TDs during the 2018 season, which helped Mullins advance to the state playoffs.

In addition to his excellence on the gridiron, Legette also played basketball and baseball during his prep days. He was touted as a three-star prospect by multiple scouting outlets coming out of high school.

College Production

Legette’s production at South Carolina makes for an interesting study because he made the transition from quarterback to wide receiver his true freshman year but never really got on track before the 2023 campaign — his super senior season.

Through the first four years of his collegiate career, Legette produced just 42 receptions for 423 receiving yards and five TDs from scrimmage.

However, the playmaking WR finally put it all together in 2023 when he caught 71 passes for 1,255 yards and seven scores, which helped earn him a spot on the All-SEC Second Team to finish out his final year at South Carolina.

Injury History

Legette has missed time due to various injuries throughout his college career. In 2021, Legette was involved in an automobile accident, which led to him missing a pair of games.

In 2020, Legette started the first six games of the year before sustaining a hamstring injury and missing the rest of the COVID-19-shortened campaign.

 

Legette’s Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths

  • Elite top speed, especially for a man this size; clocked in at over 22 MPH against Mississippi State this season (for some perspective, only three NFL ball carriers topped 22 MPH in 2023); top speed is apparent both as a yards after the catch (YAC) weapon and vertical threat.
  • Violent hands at the catch point; fully capable of playing bully ball in contested catch situations; attacks the ball at the apex of his jump consistently; great play strength at the catch point.
  • Foot quickness, body control, and hip fluidity are impressive for a bigger receiver; burst shows up in release package versus press coverage and on in-breaking routes at the top of the route stem.
  • Formation versatility is a plus; operated effectively out of the slot more than 33% of the time during his 2023 season; projects as a very capable X-receiver at the NFL level.
  • YAC producer with plenty of balance/strength through contact and burst to destroy pursuit angles; home run-type speed with the ball in his hands to make him a threat to gash defenses on all three levels of the football field; could be effective in a satellite role with manufactured touches in the screen, tap pass, or jet sweep world.
  • Flashed ability to win on vertical routes and with physicality at the top of the stem; some reps with quality timing to hit his trigger step in the DB’s blind spot on hitch routes once the defender has flipped his hips; some reps show an understanding of how to attack off defenders’ leverage before timing up his cut perfectly once he has eaten up the DB’s cushion before bursting out of his cut to win on the route.

Weaknesses

  • Failed to break out until his fifth year in college.
  • Needs to improve with identifying zone coverage faster to help identify soft spots in the zone to throttle down quicker and make himself available to the QB.
  • Route-running detail could use some refinement at the next level; techniques like push-by and chicken-wing are present but could consistently use some better timing and execution at the break point.
  • Can allow his shoulders to drift up when he’s about to initiate his trigger step, which causes some inconsistency and inefficiencies when snapping down at the top of his route; would like to see him work back down the stem of his route more consistently on hitch routes.

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