NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - SEPTEMBER 04: Wide receiver Kayshon Boutte #7 of the LSU Tigers looks on during the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Caesars Superdome on September 04, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - SEPTEMBER 04: Wide receiver Kayshon Boutte #7 of the LSU Tigers looks on during the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Caesars Superdome on September 04, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Not So Fast On Giving Kayshon Boutte A First-Round Grade

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Kayshon Boutte has been anointed as a first-round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft.

However, as a former NFL scout, and as an aspiring GM, I walked away unimpressed from his 2021 and 2022 game film.

This LSU receiver was a train wreck in this season’s opener against FSU.

He had three drops against the Seminoles and looked out of sorts pretty much the rest of the time.

Is Boutte a classic case of the “dropsies?”

Let’s look at the facts:

2020: 45 receptions on 78 targets

2021: 38 receptions on 53 targets

2022: 10 receptions on 19 targets (to date)

Are these elite numbers?

I don’t get it.

🚩I am not seeing stats of a first-round pick🚩

93 catches (150 targets) for a combined 1,337 yards and 14 touchdowns, a full-body of work over three seasons?

How is that an elite receiving resume?

Does Boutte have raw first-round talent?

Yes.

Does he show it consistently?

No.

He flashes it here and there, so chances are he will go in the first-round because that is just how the NFL works.

Boutte will wow at his pro day and at the combine when the lights are brightest.

Is football important to him?

🚩The game film says he has a tough time staying motivated🚩

His route running looks sloppy too often, and I’m sure that is contributing to not only to the drops, but to some of the missed targets too when he was not at the right place at the right time.

There are other instances when he noticeably turns it on when he knows the ball is coming his way.

Boutte looks like a guy who is just coasting on natural ability.

Why did Boutte scrub his social media after the FSU game?

This has become the fashionable thing to do now when someone is ticked off at the team – – they scrub their social media of the team they play for.

The thing I don’t like about this is his bad game against FSU was his fault.

He’s the one who couldn’t come down with the contested catch in the back of the end zone.

He’s the one who dropped another pass that hit him right in the hands.

What’s additionally concerning was his explanation of why he wiped LSU off the face of earth on his Instagram. According to a Sports Illustrated article, Boutte shared he considered transferring from LSU in August, when fall camp opened.

“It was all kind of weird, playing for people I’ve never really met,” said Boutte. “I had never really met any of them personally, so I felt like I didn’t fit. They came in and kind of talked with me a little bit. I trusted that the plan they were coming in with was going to be executed.”

What is Boutte saying?

It is educated speculation on my part and you are welcome to draw your own conclusion, but does this mean he has a hard time playing for or trusting people he doesn’t know?

How will that turn out in the NFL?

#7 Kayshon Boutte 6-foot-0, 205 pounds

Daniel Kelly Grade: Second-Round – Early Fall 2022 Report

First Round Mock Big Board: TBD

Projected by 97.5% of the NFL Draft Community to be a first-round pick as of September 21, 2022 (nflmockdraftdatabase.com)

2021 game film reviewed: UCLA and Auburn (click to watch games viewed to form this evaluation)

2022 game film reviewed: FSU

Level of competition: High

2021 stats: 38 receptions (53 targets) 509 yards (13.4 avg.), 9 TD, 64-long

2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report:

Underachiever with broad upper build, strong legs and inconsistent route running and hands. Showed ability to make a quick release, but did not do it on every rep. Can get tangled up with the corner and have difficulty shaking free. Methodical and unrefined route runner. Has athletic ability to make crisp adjustments, but also rounds off. Questionable depth on crossing routes. When he is on his game he is able to create separation and be a break-away threat after receptions. Good YAC skill. Lacks burning speed, but can pull away. Questionable focus. Struggled deep. This one could be a problem.

What to watch for during the 2022 college football season:

  1. His production
  2. Is he dropping passes because of a lack of focus?
  3. Does he look explosive?
  4. Are his routes crisp looking?

I am not understanding the hype with Boutte.

Daniel Kelly is a former NFL Scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated New York Jets and he is the Editor-in-Chief for First Round Mock. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @firstroundmock.

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