The 2023 NFL draft noticed 21 large receivers chosen earlier than Kayshon Boutte. However within the sixth spherical, the previous LSU standout noticed his slide come to a cease.
The New England Patriots had been the explanation why. What’s subsequent lies within the palms of the No. 187 total choose.
“Simply bought off the telephone with a few of these undrafted guys who we wish to signal and had the message for them that actually goes for everyone: Now, the chance is yours, and it’s as much as you to take advantage of it,” Patriots director of participant personnel Matt Groh advised reporters throughout his post-draft video conference.
As soon as an Underneath Armour All-American out of Louisiana’s Westgate Excessive Faculty, Boutte grew to become a Freshman All-American for the Tigers in 2020.
The five-star recruit’s debut season in Baton Rouge introduced 45 catches for a team-high 735 yards and 5 touchdowns. It additionally introduced a finale towards Ole Miss that featured a faculty and SEC single-game file 308 receiving yards with three visits to the top zone.
The promising begin ended six begins into Boutte’s 2021 marketing campaign with a damaged proper ankle sustained versus Kentucky. The sophomore nonetheless completed atop the LSU offense with 509 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns that fall, bringing him to 14 touchdowns via 16 video games thus far.
But a second surgical procedure adopted the spring main as much as what can be his remaining fall.
“Kayshon had an unlucky damage in 2021,” added Groh, “and typically it takes a bit of little bit of time to come back again from these issues and it’s actually going to be as much as him to come back in right here with the correct mindset.”
Switching from No. 1 to No. 7, a jersey worn by the most effective Tigers playmaker from the state, Boutte was by no means in a position to understand it like earlier than. He began solely half of his ten appearances underneath new head coach Brian Kelly in 2022. Whereas turning the preliminary carry of his tenure into 41 dashing yards, the yr spanned 538 receiving yards with a career-low two scores throughout 48 catches and 7 drops.
“I’d say that I would like everybody to know that I’m a tough employee and that I’m going to provide 100%,” Boutte mentioned Saturday throughout his introductory conference call as a Patriot. “I really feel like I’ve been doubted lots. I really feel prefer it’s time for me to show that I’m not that very same individual.”
The junior opted out of the Citrus Bowl and declared for the draft. A poor displaying then arrived on the NFL Scouting Mix.
At 5-foot-11, 195 kilos with dynamic burst to all ranges of the sphere on movie, Boutte was anticipated to run the 40-yard sprint quicker than 4.5 seconds. That point took a backseat to the 29-inch vertical soar and 9-foot-10 broad soar — marks that respectively ranked final and second to final amongst wideouts invited Lucas Oil Stadium. And likewise uncommon within the RAS and MockDraftable historic databases.
But Boutte had a proper interview with the Patriots in Indianapolis and met once more at his professional day.
“He’s bought all of the potential on this planet,” Groh mentioned. “If he desires to use himself and to achieve that potential — look, we’re going to do every part we will to assist him succeed. We’re going to provide him each useful resource we will. Because the saying goes: Gamers are our best useful resource. And we made an funding in Kayshon right here within the sixth spherical, so trying ahead to see what he can do together with his alternative.”
The draft funding in Boutte, who turns simply 21 heading into rookie minicamp this Might, was one in every of a dozen made by the Patriots in April. Fellow large receiver Demario Douglas joined him within the sixth spherical out of Liberty at No. 210 total.
Forward is the possibility to contend for what may very well be a single 53-man roster spot on a depth chart led by March signing JuJu Smith-Schuster, 2022 second-rounder Tyquan Thornton in addition to veterans DeVante Parker and Kendrick Bourne.
“I’m motivated greater than ever, in all probability,” Boutte mentioned. “It’s a blessing. It’s a blessing that I made it to the NFL and get drafted by the Patriots. It’s what each child goals of.”