One of the more compelling early 2023 NFL Draft storylines was star LSU wide receiver Kayshon Boutte. Throughout his career with the Tigers, he’s emerged as one of the more talented receivers in all of college football during his first two seasons.
That being said, Boutte had a rather rollercoaster ride of ups and downs to begin the 2022 season. Following the season-opening loss to Florida State, a game where he caught just two passes for 20 yards.
Overall, his year got off to a very slow start, and while he was able to somewhat salvage his stats by the end of the year, there was no way to recover his draft stock back to early-to-mid-first-round status. Because of that, the wide receiver decided not to declare for the 2023 NFL Draft, and instead, he is set to return to LSU for another year.
The biggest reason Boutte had become a favorite to land with the Vikings was his LSU connection with Justin Jefferson. It’s the same reason why Minnesota became a trendy landing spot to for Odell Beckham Jr.
Undoubtedly, as long as Boutte bounced back to his usual level of play, he and Jefferson could have been a dominant duo together. Perhaps, it would have even happened immediately. The Vikings may have even been able to snatch him in Day 2 without having to spend their first-round pick.
In the new NIL world of college football, this should become a much more common occurrence. In the past, players would often get to the NFL as quickly as possible, considering they couldn’t make nearly as much money in college as they could as a professional.
Nowadays, there’s a very good chance, especially in the SEC, that prospects sitting as borderline first-round picks could go back to school. This is due to the difference that first-rounders can make compared to Day 2 picks.
Boutte won’t be picked in 2023, but he could be a top prospect come 2024. Perhaps he could end up being a Vikings target in that year as well.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.