LSU WR Kayshon Boutte Announces He'll Return for Senior Season, Forgo 2023 NFL Draft

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 5, 2022

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - NOVEMBER 12: LSU Tigers wide receiver Kayshon Boutte (7) during the college football game between the LSU Tigers and Arkansas Razorbacks on November 12, 2022 at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Arkansas. (Photo by Andy Altenburger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Andy Altenburger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The LSU Tigers are getting one of their top offensive weapons back for the 2023 season.

Wide receiver Kayshon Boutte announced he will return to the program next season, adding he will "lock in and focus on the main goal of any LSU Tiger: winning a national championship."

Kayshon Boutte @KayshonBoutte1

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This is somewhat of a welcome surprise for LSU, considering Boutte was a potential first-round pick had he decided to enter the 2023 NFL draft. B/R's NFL Scouting Department listed him as the No. 31 overall player and No. 6 wide receiver in its most recent big board.

However, B/R's Derrik Klassen highlighted that there is room to improve:

"Drops that plagued him early in the season have waned as the year went on, but they haven't disappeared. Moreover, Boutte transitioned to play more from the slot this year, which is a somewhat concerning—or at least curious—move for a player who previously made his mark working outside the numbers.

"Stack those potential concerns on top of Boutte's less explosive play this season, and it's hard to justify giving him a first-round grade despite how naturally talented he is."

There is no doubting Boutte's talent after he arrived at LSU as a 5-star prospect and the No. 2 overall wide receiver in the class of 2020, per 247Sports' composite rankings. He wasted no time making an immediate impact with 735 receiving yards as a freshman and nine touchdown catches in just six games as a sophomore, but his numbers took a hit this year.

He posted 538 receiving yards and two touchdown catches in 11 games for the SEC West leaders. To Boutte's credit, he was at his best in important moments this season with 115 receiving yards in a win over Florida and 107 yards and a touchdown in the SEC Championship Game loss to Georgia, but there was plenty of inconsistency along the way.

Perhaps steadier play to go with his talent level could bolster his status ahead of the 2024 NFL draft.