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Senior Bowl Interview: WR Xavier Hutchinson

Senior Bowl prospects show off their skills

NCAA Football: Baylor at Iowa State Ames Tribune-USA TODAY Sports

The big question going into this off-season is are the Cleveland Browns satisfied with their receivers?

The Reese’s Senior Bowl has a number of qualified prospects in case GM Andrew Berry is not happy with the receiver room.

Xavier Hutchinson is a big-bodied player who has played at a high level. He comes with a box of accolades as he was named First Team All-American last season and was selected First Team All-Big 12 three consecutive years.

This is in addition to his 4.49 speed for a guy with his size. Hutchinson had 1,171 yards last year with six scores on 107 receptions which means he is used to being busy in the passing game. He is also very durable intermixed with his 37 starts. Plus, he was named captain.

WR Xavier Hutchinson – Iowa State

6’-3”, 210 pounds

Projected round: 3

Browns pick #99

DBN: What are you wanting to show the hundreds of scouts and coaches this week?

Hutchinson: Just show them that the film they have already seen is just part of who I am as a player. I can go against the best and win, do what I do. I can get open and create separation. I’m also a good route runner and a fast learner.

DBN: What is it like when you are thrown into a new system with a new quarterback?

Hutchinson: The timing is usually off at first, but as you keep working with a new quarterback it becomes easier as he learns me and I learn his tenancies. I just keep building with him and do as much live-action as possible.

DBN: What have you been doing since your last game to get ready for the Combine?

Hutchinson: I have been working on my 40 time. That is probably a big question mark on me. I am not tired off getting into starter blocks yet. At times it seems like training for an Olympic event instead of football. In interviews I am doing fairly well. I feel like I am an intelligent guy, a bright guy, so I am not too worried about that part.

DBN: Is your preference inside or playing the outside receiver?

Hutchinson: Both. I know that’s not a clean answer, but I will do whatever the team needs me to do. I have stated that to the NFL teams that have interviewed me so far. I would be a bigger slot that what is normal, but the outside I am perfectly comfortable.

DBN: What is it like to make the game-winning touchdown?

Hutchinson: It’s amazing. It’s great to see your hard work finally pay off. But also just to have the confidence from your quarterback and coaching staff. For them to believe in you is hard not to believe in yourself out there.

DBN: What goes into your preparation for the next game?

Hutchinson: You hone back into the details. You prepare for the next opponent and go over the slightest details that can give you the upper advantage. You have to have confidence in your game.

DBN: Do you consider yourself a leader?

Hutchinson: Being named one of the team’s captains is very special. It means you are there to help the younger players and be a role model for this team. I was very happy and blessed to be named captain and take the burden off of other players. You fight as a team to get wins. Wins are hard. You really got to go out there and take it. You have to push that envelope even further.

DBN: How would you evaluate your blocking skills?

Hutchinson: You have to establish the run in almost every game. That expands everything for your team. I spent a lot of time developing good blocking skills so that if the running back or another receiver comes my way then my defender isn’t making the play. It’s a horrible feeling that you lost control of your man and he makes the tackle. Being a good blocker makes you that more versatile. That feels great.

DBN: In your first season at Iowa State you were named “Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year.” How were you able to make that transition from a Junior Collège program to the Big 12?

Hutchinson: The players and coaches here really welcomed me. Just to know they trusted me as soon as I walked onto campus. They believed in me no matter what. It’s a great feeling to know as a person. Then I was able to use that confidence and produce on the field.

DBN: Where have you seen the most improvement in your play?

Hutchinson: I most improved with the playbook. I had to spend more time because before I was a little nervous with the play calls and where to line up and do the right thing. And now I think I can improve on the deep ball. It’s something I know I can do. Steadily building that in practices and high-point every ball I can get. It builds repetition and confidence from your quarterback.

Barry Shuck is at the Reese’s Senior Bowl this week gathering interviews and providing coverage for Browns fans