Kayshon Boutte Entering 2023 NFL Draft After Previously Deciding to Stay at LSU

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 29, 2022

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 03: Kayshon Boutte #7 of the LSU Tigers breaks away for a touchdown against the Georgia Bulldogs during the first half of the SEC Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 3, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Kayshon Boutte is heading to the 2023 NFL draft after all.

The LSU wide receiver announced Wednesday that he is declaring for the draft. ESPN's Field Yates noted he previously planned on returning to the Tigers but has since changed his mind.

It was already known that Boutte would not play in Monday's Cheez-It Citrus Bowl when LSU takes on Purdue. ESPN's Alex Scarborough noted Tigers head coach Brian Kelly released a statement revealing as much, although he didn't provide a specific reason for the absence and pointed out the wide receiver was enrolled at the school for the spring semester.

Alas, he will not play another game for LSU.

His collegiate career will likely be remembered as an inconsistent one that hinted at his overall potential. He arrived as a 5-star prospect and the No. 2 overall wide receiver in the 2020 recruiting class, per 247Sports' composite rankings, and appeared well on his way to stardom with 735 receiving yards as a freshman.

Boutte followed that up with nine touchdown catches in just six games the following season, but his 2022 campaign saw his numbers drop with 538 receiving yards and two touchdown catches in 11 contests.

He at least helped the Tigers win the SEC West and impressed in marquee games with 115 receiving yards in a win over Florida and 107 yards and a touchdown in a loss to Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.

His attention will now turn to the pre-draft process as he attempts to solidify himself as a first-round prospect.

B/R's NFL Scouting Department ranked him at No. 31 overall and No. 6 among wide receivers in a November big board, suggesting the first round is very much in play if he impresses at the NFL scouting combine and in interviews.

As for the Tigers, they have an opportunity to win double-digit games for the first time since Joe Burrow was under center in the 2019 season if they defeat Purdue in the bowl game without Boutte.