Former five-star recruit Kayshon Boutte was the LSU Tigers’ leading receiver during what was a solid first regular season under new nead coach Brian Kelly.
After initial reports that Boutte was going to transfer from Baton Rouge following Kelly’s hiring, he opted to play out his junior season with LSU.
He did not disappoint in putting up a solid performance. It seemed that the relationship was so good that Boutte would return for his senior season in 2023.
That’s not the case. The 6-foot wide receiver took to social media Wednesday evening to indicate that he has declared for the 2023 NFL Draft. In the process, Boutte will skip LSU’s Citrus Bowl outing against Purdue on Jan. 2.
In a draft class that lacks elite-level wide receiver talent, there’s now a good chance that Boutte will find himself as a first-round pick.
- Kayshon Boutte stats (2020-22): 131 receptions, 1,782 yards, 16 TD
This past season saw the Louisiana native record 48 catches for 538 yards and just two touchdowns. That came after he notched nine scores as a sophomore in 2021.
While there’s concern over consistency, his elite-level talent can’t go unnoticed. It should lead to several receiver-needy teams getting involved in the action leading up to the 2023 NFL Draft. Here’s a look at three ideal landing spots.
Related: Sportsnaut’s 2023 NFL mock draft
Tennessee Titans add much-needed wide receiver help
With no receiver currently projected to go within the top-10 picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, those selecting a bit further down the line could be in a good position. This includes a Titans team that will be replacing recently-fired general manager Jon Robinson and must find more receiver help.
One of the final major moves Robinson made in his role as the Titans’ general manager was to trade star wide receiver A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2022 NFL Draft. He then selected fellow pass-catcher Treylon Burks in the first round later that night. It has not gone according to plan for either the young receiver or his team (25 catches in nine games as a rookie).
Boutte offers a perfect fit with Burks in that he’s more explosive at the line and can play multiple positions. He also excels in a spread system. With Ryan Tannehill likely done in Tennessee and youngster Malik Willis potentially set to take over full-time, this specific skill-set is needed with the Titans.
Kayshon Boutte lands with the New England Patriots
“No. 1 wide receiver’ Jakobi Meyers is slated to become a free agent this coming offseason. We use quatations because he’s not your typical go-to guy in a good passing game. With Mac Jones struggling this season, Meyers is on pace to put up less than the 866 yards he recorded a season ago.
Sure there’s a lot of issues the Pats have to address once the 2022 season comes to a conclusion. But finding a top-end young receiver must be chief among them. That’s especially true if Bill Belichick and Co. opt to stick with Jones under center for a third season. Currently slated to select 14th overall, Boutte would make sense for this team.
Related: Top 2023 NFL free agents
Baltimore Ravens give Lamar Jackson a shiny new toy
How bad has the Ravens’ wide receiver situation been this season? The team has taken a chance on veteran retreads in that of DeSean Jackson and Sammy Watkins. With former first-round pick Rashod Bateman sidelined to injury, Baltimore’s leading pass-catcher from the wide receiver position is another veteran in that of Demarcus Robinson (45 catches, 425 yards).
It goes without saying that Baltimore’s first order of business during the offseason will be to sign Lamar Jackson to a long-term contract. But adding more receivers to the mix has to be a primary goal. With his ability to take the top off the defense, Kayshon Boutte would be a perfect fit.