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Monday, May 29, 2023

Kayshon Boutte Movie Evaluate: Is Reward Value Danger For Patriots?

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The Patriots bought a lottery ticket with the 187th choose within the 2023 NFL Draft.

In Kayshon Boutte, New England has a younger receiver proficient sufficient to change into a high offensive weapon as quickly as this season. However it additionally has a participant who wouldn’t shock anybody if he’s off the roster earlier than the beginning of coaching camp. The Patriots took a calculated threat within the sixth spherical, which is the suitable time for such of venture.

Boutte was the second-ranked wideout within the 2020 recruiting class and arrived at LSU as a neighborhood star with important fanfare. And he largely delivered on the hype as a real freshman, catching 45 passes for a team-leading 735 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns. He punctuated the marketing campaign with a outstanding 14-catch, 308-yard efficiency towards Ole Miss that included three TDs. Boutte continued producing as a sophomore, racking up 38 catches for 509 yards and 9 touchdowns by way of his first six video games. On the time, he appeared like a future first-round choose.

Then the wheels fell off.

Boutte missed the remainder of the season resulting from a damaged proper ankle, which required a second surgical procedure through the offseason. He appeared like a diminished participant in 2022, showing in 11 of a doable 14 video games whereas catching simply 48 passes for 538 yards and two TDs. The Louisiana native handled extra ankle points late within the yr and in early March submitted a horrible efficiency on the 2023 NFL Scouting Mix, plunging his draft inventory even additional. Alongside the way in which, Boutte clashed with the LSU teaching workers, displayed questionable in-game effort and developed a popularity as an immature prospect.

Some NFL groups reportedly left Boutte totally off their draft boards resulting from coachability issues. However the Patriots gave him a shot and are dedicated to giving him each alternative to reach New England.

So, what sort of participant are they getting? We took a deep dive into Boutte’s school movie to seek out out.

YAC machine
Boutte’s skill after the catch is apparent and lives as much as the hype. Whereas he has sufficient pace to be a conventional downfield menace, Boutte actually makes his dwelling in open area, the place he confirmed electrifying run-after-catch skill earlier than and after his ankle harm.

The tape from his monstrous sport towards Ole Miss is one thing to behold.

That sport isn’t an outlier. Boutte’s school movie is suffering from performs that function him catching quick and quick passes earlier than turning them into large beneficial properties or touchdowns.

However it’s not nearly big-yardage performs. The Patriots want extra gamers able to catching fast passes, together with screens, and utilizing their athleticism to shed tacklers and choose up first downs. That is the place the lack of James White actually confirmed up final season, to the purpose that New England turned to cornerback Marcus Jones for a spark.

If Boutte earns a job this season, it doubtless will probably be resulting from these sorts of performs:

Boutte additionally reveals an uncanny skill to seek out artistic methods to select up a number of further yards. Simply have a look at this play towards Florida:

Catch radius
Boutte has common measurement for a receiver, listed at 5-foot-11 and 195 kilos. And people limitations do present up once in a while. Most specialists consider his path towards success within the NFL is as a slot receiver.

Nevertheless, when wholesome, Boutte possesses uncommon athleticism that permits him to make highlight-reel catches on the boundary. He does a great job of attacking the ball and contorting his physique to make troublesome catches.

These two catches from his 2021 sport towards Kentucky — the second of which resulted in his season-ending ankle harm — illustrate the purpose:

Route-running/contested-catch points
General, when engaged, Boutte is a stable route-runner with loads of room to develop. There are many examples of him utilizing head fakes and different refined strikes to generate separation, even on performs during which he isn’t focused.

However Boutte can also get sloppy on his routes and has a penchant for turning round too late, permitting defenders to remain shut and break up passes.

The identical points additionally result in outright drops.

Rookie receivers in New England have a tough sufficient time selecting up the playbook and adjusting to the cut-throat tradition. If additionally they aren’t on level with their route-running, they’ll by no means see the sphere.

Once more, Boutte might carve out a job this season on screens and different quick-hitting performs. However long-term, he’ll must fine-tune his routes if he desires important taking part in time.

Inconsistent over the center
To that finish, all slot receivers, particularly these taking part in for the Patriots, have to be snug going over the center and taking massive hits. Boutte was inconsistent in that regard all through his LSU profession.

We hardly would name him a “mushy” receiver; he’s an often prepared blocker and is bodily in the course of the sphere when he’s going proper. However Boutte additionally reveals a bent to ease up when focused throughout the center. Generally he goes proper to the bottom after catching a go regardless of having loads of room to remain up and choose up further yards.

Are we studying an excessive amount of into these performs? Possibly. However it’s onerous to look at them and never wonder if Boutte was anxious about taking massive hits.

Questionable effort
Boutte didn’t slip to the sixth spherical due to spotty route operating and a lingering ankle concern. His inventory plummeted resulting from character and coachability issues, together with quite a few situations of poor effort throughout his remaining season in Baton Rouge. There are many examples, however a sequence from LSU’s season opener towards Florida State actually stands out.

Boutte nonetheless didn’t have a catch with 6:20 left within the second quarter. The Tigers, going through a third-and-6 close to the purpose line, then dedicated a false-start penalty, which prompted an animated response from Boutte. He dogged it on the following play, failing to search for the ball on a play that ought to’ve been a landing.

Have a look:

It was so unhealthy that broadcaster and former NFL quarterback Greg McElroy later ripped into Boutte and accused him of taking the play off.

The most important drawback is that Boutte did not be taught from the incident and handled related issues all through the season. It’s one factor to tug the diva-receiver act throughout a irritating Week 1 loss, it’s one other to repeat the habits over the rest of the season.

Clearly, that gained’t fly with the Patriots.

Harm issues
After getting drafted, Boutte insisted his ankle harm not was a priority and that he needs to be prepared for spring practices. We’ll simply must take him at his phrase.

However there’s no denying that lingering results of Boutte’s damaged ankle contributed to his struggles in 2022. Whereas he nonetheless confirmed flashes of his pre-injury kind, Boutte additionally lacked the identical burst and explosiveness, particularly in run-after-catch conditions.

He didn’t look proper on nearly each play from final season’s sport towards Ole Miss.

Boutte deserves credit score for gutting by way of what clearly was a nagging harm. Getting back from a damaged ankle isn’t simple, no matter how good of an athlete you might be.

The Patriots solely can hope that Boutte is again to 100% and that his reported character points are overblown. If he places his greatest foot ahead in New England, Boutte has greater than sufficient expertise to show right into a late-round steal.

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