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2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Kayshon Boutte (WR – LSU)

2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Kayshon Boutte (WR – LSU)

As the NFL season winds down, FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL draft scouting reports before the combine in March. Here’s a look at Kayshon Boutte.

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2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Kayshon Boutte (WR – LSU)

Kayshon Boutte (WR – LSU)

6’0″ – 205 lbs.

Background:

Five-star recruit who burst onto the scene as a freshman, with a 45-735-5 (16.3) line following opt-outs by Ja’Marr Chase and Terrace Marshall, following that up with 38-509-9 (13.4) as a sophomore. Didn’t have quite the junior season people were expecting, but still finished with a somewhat similar line of 48-538-2 (11.2) before declaring.

Positives:

Solidly-built receiver who looks the part, with what looks like long arms for his size. Has experience taking snaps inside and outside on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Shows the ability to get even with defenders on his release and works in a solid swim move; doesn’t seem bothered by contact when working against press. Understands the value of changing speeds through routes. Uses headfakes at the top of routes. Overall speed is at least adequate and is a smooth accelerator after the catch to rack up additional yardage. Physical and elusive after the catch, with the ability to make defenders miss and run through arm tackles. Tracks the ball well over his shoulder when working further downfield and shows nice body control and adjustments. Shows good awareness of the sideline, with the footwork/body control to get his feet down when working near the boundary. Impressive focus when targeted, with the ability to come down with catches in traffic. Can function as a deep threat on slot fades.

Negatives:

Was never a high-volume target in school, and production declined each year. Route tree is simple, consisting primarily of slants, ins, outs, and deep routes off of outside releases. A lot of his production came by running in-breaking routes against off-coverage. Not very snappy or explosive out of the stem, lacking hip sink. Would like to see him work back to the ball when running curls and comebacks. Can struggle to effectively stack defensive backs when running deep routes from an outside alignment (usually works outside releases.) Tends to glide through routes when the ball isn’t coming his way. Doesn’t make adjustments when working against zone coverage, although he may not be allowed to; settles into coverage. Catching technique is not very natural; snatches at the ball and can lapse into pinning it against his body. Turns down attempts to get physical as a blocker; happy to be an observer on inside runs.

Summary:

A well-built receiver who can be dangerous with the ball in his hands and some room to work with but who lacks the polish and technique typical for a top prospect at the position. Could be a weapon if he commits himself to running routes with more snap/hip sink, but at the moment looks like he might struggle to get separation from pro cornerbacks, with a steeper learning curve than average because of the limited offense he played in at LSU.

Projection: Round 2-3

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