Projected 40: 4.40
Strength: Always finds the Ball
Weakness: QB play
That's the theme of Kayshon Boutte's college career. After leaving all of us wanting more after he ended his freshmen season with 308 yards and three touchdowns on 14 catches, it never quite flourished. The flashes were constantly littered throughout his time at LSU, but from poor QB play to injuries, and back again the production never met the talent. He's such an interesting player in this draft class. First, we all think he's coming out and he surprises us by electing to stay at LSU. Then, a month later he reneges and declares for the 2023 NFL draft with rumors surrounding his circumstances of a possible dismissal from LSU.
Nonetheless, the intrigue with Boutte remains. After suffering a severe leg injury in 2021, his 2022 season didn't pan out (likely why he originally was going back). He's the most talented wide receiver in this draft class. That's right.
Creating a throwing lane is among the most important tools to have in a receiver's arsenal. Boutte is faced with a defender showing inside leverage and he needs to run an over route. Sell, sell, sell. He opens the defender with verticality, decelerates, and cuts up inside using his hand to keep separation while the defender has to flip his hips and follow.
Same thing here. A safety coming down in the red zone to play man coverage on Boutte in a reduced split? It's almost too easy. Sells vertical and as soon as the hips open to the sideline, Boutte is across his face open for a touchdown he has to adjust for. This is a common theme in Boutte's tape. Adjusting for inaccurate throws is another hallmark of the talented receiver. He made multiple catches or drew penalties on throws high, low, and away in all directions.
Boutte plays a lot in the slot or in a reduced split which raises some questions about his ability to play outside. His hand usage in getting off press or dealing with man coverage is top-notch and allows him to play anywhere as a receiver. His timing against man coverage is full of intrigue.
LSU is running a play-action bootleg pass with Max Johnson at QB. Boutte has time to work the corner and does just that. A little inside stem release puts the corner where Boutte wants him, on his inside shoulder. Now, he can create contact and break to the throw without any impediment. Left shoulder goes into the corner and after a "one Mississippi" hold he breaks to the sideline. Wide open. Attacks the ball in the air and gets two feet down at the sideline.