Patriots Draft Pick Explains Circumstances Surrounding Slide

'I would say the injury was a setback for me'


Apr 29, 2023

Kayshon Boutte was once viewed as a potential first-round pick, with some even projecting the New England Patriots as a team who would take an early chance on the high-upside wide receiver.

They took that chance, but far later than anyone could have imagined 12 months prior.

The Patriots selected Boutte with the 187th overall pick on Saturday, bringing an end to a long slide that seemingly lasted forever and the year’s worth of unfortunate events the preceded it.

It all started with an ankle injury, which ended his 2021 season and would eventually take two surgeries to heal properly after he admitted that he “could have did better” throughout the initial rehab process. That process sparked clashes with new head coach Brian Kelly and influenced some pretty major concerns about his maturity and coachability heading into his final season at LSU, which he finished with 48 receptions for 538 yards and two touchdowns in 11 games.

If you throw in the fact that he tested poorly at the combine to start a rough pre-draft process in which he considered returning to school, Boutte didn’t exactly enter the 2023 NFL Draft smelling like lavender and daisies.

He kind of had an excuse for that combine performance, but he’s certainly not using it.

“I would say the injury was a setback for me, but I feel like at the combine, I feel like that was just how I performed,” Boutte said in a conference call after being selected. “It was nothing towards the injury or anything like that. … I broke a bone in my right ankle. I’m not sure exactly what bone.”

So yeah, he certainly has a reason for struggling at the world’s biggest job interview. The intriguing wideout isn’t interested in that, however. He’s just ready to work.

“I am motivated more than ever probably,” Boutte said. “It’s a blessing. It’s a blessing that I made it to the NFL and get drafted by the Patriots. It’s what every kid dreams of. … I would describe my game as competitive. Every time I go out on the field, I have that mindset that I’ve got to dominate no matter who is in front of me. That’s my main focus and how I would describe my game.”

That’s something Patriots fans will love to hear, especially after they realize what a special prospect he looked like prior to the injury — serving as the No. 2-ranked receiver in the 2020 recruiting class and finishing his first 16 games at LSU with 83 catches for 1,244 yards and 14 touchdowns.

That’ll do.

Thumbnail photo via Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports Images
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