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Xavier Gipson Scouting Report | Stephen F. Austin WR | 2023 NFL Draft

Xavier Gipson Scouting Report | Stephen F. Austin WR | 2023 NFL Draft

Player Bio

Xavier Gipson is a 5-foot-9, 189-pound Slot Receiver from Stephen F. Austin University.

Gipson prepped at Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas, TX, where he was a three-phase player for the Wildcats on offense, defense, and special teams. Gipson was a three-star ATH prospect with offers from SMU, Stephen F. Austin, Alabama A&M, and McNeese State.

As a senior in 2018, Gipson recorded 24 receptions, 383 receiving yards, and five receiving touchdowns on offense, while contributing 53 tackles, two tackles for loss, three interceptions, and seven pass breakups on defense. He added 13 total returns (three kick returns, ten punt returns), 452 total return yards (156 kick return yards, 296 punt return yards), and two punt return touchdowns. Gipson received District 6-5A Special Teams Player of the Year honors from The Dallas Morning News after the 2018 season.

Gipson originally committed to SMU before his senior season but flipped his commitment to Stephen F. Austin University on National Signing Day. 

Gipson started in all 12 games for Stephen F. Austin as a true freshman in 2019. He set team-highs in receptions (52), receiving yards (934), and receiving touchdowns (7). Gipson also served as the primary kick returner for the Lumberjacks in his first year with the program. He returned 17 kickoffs for 356 yards and averaged 29.7 yards per return. Gipson became the only true freshman in the conference to earn Second Team All-Southland recognition on offense and special teams.

As a sophomore during the 2020 Covid season, Gipson led the Lumberjacks receiving core in every major statistical category, including receptions (52), receiving yards (841), and touchdowns (9). Gipson received First Team All-Southland honors as the Lumberjacks offensive MVP during a 6-4 campaign.

Gipson returned to Stephen F. Austin in 2021 and shattered his career-high totals in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns. In an 8-4 campaign, which included an appearance in the first round of the FCS playoffs, Gipson recorded 74 receptions, 1367 receiving yards, and 14 receiving touchdowns. He was awarded WAC Offensive Player of the Year honors for his monumental performance during the 2021 season.

In his final collegiate season in 2022, Gipson reclaimed his top spot as the best receiver in the WAC, earning Offensive Player of the Year recognition for the second-straight season. He collected 65 receptions, 1163 receiving yards, and seven receiving touchdowns and lifted the Lumberjacks to their Conference Championship since joining the WAC in 2021.

Gipson accumulated 243 receptions, 4,311 receiving yards, and 37 receiving touchdowns in four seasons at Stephen F. Austin, becoming the Lumberjacks’ all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards.

After the 2022 season, Gipson played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Pasadena, CA, recording one reception for 41 yards. He had a strong performance at Stephen F. Austin’s Pro Day in March, posting a 4.38 40-yard dash, 4.07 shuttle, and 1.46 10-yard split, which would have been the fastest 10-yard split at the NFL Combine.

Gipson conducted a top 30 visit with the Carolina Panthers on April 4th, joining B.J. Thompson as the only Lumberjacks to meet with NFL teams before the 2023 NFL Draft.

Scouting Report

Xavier Gipson is a dynamic, playmaking slot receiver with elite burst, terrific straight-line speed & short area quickness, proficient route-running acumen, high-level ball production, and intriguing punt return ability on special teams.

Gipson operates with excellent play speed and possesses top-notch acceleration off the ball. He boasts a lightning-quick first step, sets up his routes intelligently, and moves with no wasted motion. With excellent body control, change of direction, and ability to sink his hips, Gipson transitions smoothly out of his breaks to create separation against man coverage.

While at Stephen F. Austin, Gipson made a living by catching screens behind the line of scrimmage and collecting yards after the catch to create explosive plays. However, defenses could rarely play press coverage against him because they had to respect his ability to beat them over the top. He presents a difficult matchup for defenses because he can beat zone & man coverage on short-range, underneath route concepts while also contributing as a vertical threat who can get behind a defensive backfield.

Over his four seasons at Stephen F. Austin, he became the most productive receiver in school history in multiple receiving categories. He led the Lumberjacks in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns during every season from 2019-2022, proving to be one of the most effective and consistent receivers in the 2023 draft class.

Gipson accumulated such impressive receiving numbers because he boasts quality ball skills, reliable hands, and strong concentration to track & adjust to the ball against tight coverage. He rarely drops a pass, and his catch radius is larger than his 5-foot-9, 184-pound frame would indicate. Gipson will not come down with every contested ball thrown his way but is a tough competitor at the catch point despite his size.

Gipson can also significantly impact on special teams, as he displayed electrifying punt return ability during his freshman season at SFA. If Gipson does not instantly contribute at the receiver spot, his upside as a punt returner should help him carve out a niche at the next level.

Due to his physical measurables, Gipson will likely fall to the later rounds of the NFL Draft but should compete for an NFL roster spot during training camp.

Draft Projection

Early 6th-Late 7th


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