LSU receiver Kayshon Boutte no longer returning to program, will enter 2023 NFL Draft

LSU receiver Kayshon Boutte no longer returning to program, will enter 2023 NFL Draft



LSU wide receiver Kayshon Boutte announced on social media Wednesday that he has decided to reverse his initial decision to return to the program for his senior year and instead enter the 2023 NFL Draft. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Boutte, one of the most dynamic pass catchers in his class, has 131 receptions for 1,782 yards and 16 touchdowns in his career.
  • The Athletic’s Dane Brugler ranks Boutte as the No. 39 overall prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft.
  • Had 14 combined touchdowns in his first two seasons — the second of which was cut short after six games due to an ankle injury — but only two this year.
  • Announced earlier this month that he planned to return to the program for his senior season.

Backstory

A five-star recruit in LSU’s 2020 recruiting class, Boutte was the No. 1 receiver in Louisiana and No. 3 in the country per 247Sports. Boutte had a monster first season, earning Freshman All-SEC honors after catching 45 passes for 735 yards and five touchdowns. He followed that up with 38 receptions for 509 yards and nine touchdowns in just six games due to an ankle injury ending his season early.

Boutte entered this season as one of the top receivers on draft boards but that may have changed with a lack of production. He finished his junior year with 48 receptions, 538 yards receiving and two touchdowns.

The Athletic’s instant analysis:

How this hurts LSU’s offensive plans next season

LSU was going to be able to boast the return of essentially its entire starting offense. Now it loses its biggest star offensive weapon, a player who broke the SEC record with 308 yards in a game as a freshman and looked like an All-American at times in his strange up-and-down career. LSU still brings back starting quarterback Jayden Daniels, its entire offensive line and two receivers in Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr.. LSU is well positioned without Boutte to be a frontrunner in the SEC West, but having him too would have been icing on the cake. — Miller

What can NFL teams expect with Boutte?

Boutte at his best would give an NFL team a special talent. He’s an explosive big-play receiver who has good ball skills in addition to elite abilities after the catch. His sophomore year had him looking like a clear first-round pick with nine touchdowns in five games before breaking his ankle. Then, the 2022 season was filled with disappointing on-field performances and occasionally visible frustration on the sideline. His play improved with 100-yard games against Florida and Georgia, but teams will look for more consistency from Boutte. — Miller

Required reading

(Photo: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)





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