Kayshon Boutte was a freshman in 2020 and was going to see opportunities instantly after star receiver Ja’Marr Chase opted-out due to COVID. Things didn’t start out great when the LSU Tigers had three different quarterbacks on a mediocre offense where Boutte was barely targeted, but everything changed the moment LSU’s number one receiver Terrace Marshall opted-out for the final three games of the season. To say Boutte took advantage of Marshall’s opt-out would be a massive understatement. In the final three games against Alabama, Florida, and Ole miss, Kayshon Boutte put up 27 catches, 527 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 243 yards after the catch proving that the lights weren’t too bright for the 18 year old.
Kayshon Boutte in his last 3 games of 2020:— PFF College (@PFF_College) June 9, 2021
4 TDs @PFF_Anthony’s top SEC breakout WR
Going into 2021, expectations were already high and Boutte was living up to them prior to an ankle injury in week six that cost him his season. While Boutte had to have surgery and it was a disappointing end, he still put up 37 receptions, 503 yards, and 9 touchdowns in just the first six weeks of the season. The future was bright. So much so that LSU gave Boutte their iconic #7 that’s been worn by LSU legends such as Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu, and Leonard Fournette. While it was a great honor at the time, it didn’t work out the way LSU envisioned to say the absolute least.
The problems started early for Boutte in the 2022 season when he was noticeably upset that he wasn’t being given the football as consistently as the previous two seasons. Boutte’s frustration got the best of him at times like when he dropped a slant at the goal line against Florida State because he was noticeably upset the play prior that he wasn’t given the ball. Still, it’s only fair to put into perspective how much Boutte wasn’t getting the ball, and it was noticeable. Boutte had 73 targets on 391 pass snaps as the number one option in 2022, but back in 2020 when he was the second option for most of the season he got 76 targets on 320 pass snaps. It didn’t stop there, Boutte had only 23 fewer targets in 2021 compared to 2022 despite playing five more full games. Boutte still had his fair share of flashes in 2022 when he put up a six-reception, 115 yard performance with a touchdown against the Georgia Bulldogs who would go on to win the national championship.
On December 5th 2022, Boutte announced that he would be returning to LSU for his senior season. Less than a month later, he changed his mind and was declaring for the draft, which led to rumors about an off-the-field scandal. It’s important to note that these are just rumors, but with the issues surrounding Boutte after a disappointing 2022 and his frustration getting the best of him at times, it’s a bad look.
Overall, Kayshon Boutte is a perfect example of a boom or bust prospect. If not for certain things, Boutte would likely go in the top 15 of this draft but now it’s possible he doesn’t even go in the second round just because of how scared he makes NFL teams. One thing to note though, the Dallas Cowboys are not scared of draft prospects with “attitude issues” or “off the field drama”.