Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU | NFL Draft Scouting Report

Does Kayshon Boutte possess a scouting report that indicates he can be the next great LSU WR when he heads to the 2023 NFL Draft?

A legitimate, game-changing threat, Kayshon Boutte is the next LSU Tigers wide receiver to attract first-round NFL draft attention. The junior pass catcher can follow in the footsteps of Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson as ballers from Baton Rouge. Boutte’s 2023 NFL Draft scouting report reveals a devastating playmaker who is nearly unstoppable in 1-on-1 matchups.

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Kayshon Boutte NFL draft profile

A former five-star recruit out of Westgate High School, the Louisiana native was the second-ranked WR in the 2020 recruiting class. Boutte opted to remain in-state with LSU over options that included Alabama and Ole Miss.

He made an immediate impact as a freshman for the Tigers. Earning Freshman All-American honors, he led LSU with 735 receiving yards and finished second on the team with 45 receptions and five touchdowns. He ended the 2020 campaign with three straight 100+ yard games, including an SEC record of 308 yards against Ole Miss.

As a sophomore, Boutte added 100+ yard games against UCLA and Auburn. However, his season was curtailed by a leg injury suffered against Kentucky. In a shortened campaign, Boutte registered 509 receiving yards. At the time of his injury, the LSU WR led the FBS with nine touchdowns.

  • Position: WR
  • School: LSU
  • Current Year: Junior
  • Height/Weight: 6’0″, 205 pounds

Kayshon Boutte scouting report

Boutte’s 2023 NFL Draft scouting report reveals an ultra-impressive pass-catching prospect. At 6’0″ and 200 pounds, he has the requisite frame to effectively deal with the rigors of NFL competition. While not currently possessing a length measurement, Boutte appears to have impressive functional length. Therefore, he passes the eye test. That is just the beginning of what is an extremely attractive scouting report for the LSU WR.

Boutte’s strengths

The excitement over Boutte’s scouting report begins with his athletic magnificence. Immediately upon turning on his tape, his acceleration, speed, and movement skills are apparent. His acceleration appears almost effortless. When he hits top speed, there are few defensive players who can catch him. His lateral agility is impressive, cutting and changing direction with the same level of ease with which he accelerates.

That translates to the route-running element of Boutte’s scouting report. He’s a clean, sudden route runner who can break from his route at the drop of a penny. The ability to flip his body effortlessly means he can set up his coverage defender one way before whipping in the opposite direction and catching the ball in yards of space. The LSU WR also demonstrates the intelligence to find soft spots and maneuver into holes in coverage.

In addition to using the above combination of excellent route running and devastating athletic prowess to gain separation and after-the-catch yardage, Boutte can create separation on release. The LSU WR possesses ludicrously quick feet, which put coverage defenders in a bind from the get-go. However, he can also use his handwork to help create an advantage within seconds of the snap.

There’s also plenty of excitement about Boutte’s scouting report as it pertains to the catch point. During his young LSU career, the WR has showcased excellent ball-tracking ability, something that has been tested to the fullest by some suboptimal quarterback play. Additionally, he’s demonstrated catch-point body control. He adjusts to errant passes with relative ease to ensure that he makes a play on the ball.

Although there were some focus drops studied on film — see areas of improvement — Boutte routinely catches the ball with the correct technique. He’s demonstrated that he can pluck the ball away from his frame, putting his apparent functional length to good use. The LSU WR is able to take the ball comfortably in his stride, enabling rapid deployment of his aforementioned after-the-catch skills.

An underrated aspect of WR scouting is blocking ability. Here Boutte’s scouting report is exciting. The LSU WR is both willing and able in this regard. He routinely uses his length to lock out his opponent. Meanwhile, his quick feet and impressive hand usage mean he’s adept at mirroring his opponent and thus remains engaged with decent physicality.

Boutte’s areas of improvement

While Boutte has an exceptional scouting report, the 2023 NFL Draft prospect is not without areas for improvement. While his season-ending leg injury might not necessarily fall under “improvement,” it remains a potential red flag on his scouting report. The LSU WR didn’t participate in the Tigers’ spring game following a second “procedure” on his ankle.

Again, while this might not be classed as an “improvement” by some, Boutte has been predominantly used out of the slot for LSU. While there is some exposure to outside reps, it would be useful to see more alignment there in order to confidently project his future role at the NFL level.

Although Boutte has shown some impressive ball skills, there were also a number of drops within the games studied conducting his scouting report. They ranged from low targets to contested-catch situations on the boundary. He needs to ensure he maintains his catch technique and focus to minimize these drops from his film.

Current draft projection for LSU WR Kayshon Boutte

An extremely productive playmaker at the college level, LSU WR Boutte has a scouting report that indicates he’ll be one of the top pass catchers in the 2023 NFL Draft. His combination of speed, acceleration, elusiveness, contact balance, and route-running prowess ensures that he’s a game-breaking threat on every single passing play. While it’s early in the process, Boutte has first-round potential with the opportunity to make an impact as a starting slot wide receiver with kick return upside as an NFL rookie.

Oliver Hodgkinson is an NFL Draft and College Football Analyst for Pro Football Network. Check out the rest of his work here, and you can find him on Twitter: @ojhodgkinson.

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