Did the Patriots purchase a winning lottery ticket in receiver Kayshon Boutte?

Ryan Clark believes so — and so does Davon Godchaux.

Boutte, a sixth-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, arrived in New England with low expectations after a severely disappointing final season at LSU. Once a can’t-miss prospect, Boutte after the draft was viewed as a likely failure in the NFL.

And that narrative held up early in Boutte’s Patriots career. He couldn’t stay on the field during spring practices, and when he did participate, he was totally invisible. At one point, he got reamed out by offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien.

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But training camp has been a different story. Boutte’s performance has improved throughout August, a trend that continued this week in Green Bay. The 21-year-old was a standout performer during joint practices with the Packers and punctuated his week with a 42-yard touchdown reception in Saturday night’s preseason game at Lambeau Field. The big play drew a strong reaction from NFL player-turned-analyst Ryan Clark.

“If Kayshon Boutte finds his stride in New England he will be the steal of the draft,” Clark wrote in a post on the X platform. “Showed top 10 talent at times early throughout his time in Baton Rouge.”

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Godchaux, a veteran member of New England’s defensive line, reposted Clark’s comment while adding “agreed.”

It’s worth noting that Clark and Godchaux both played at LSU, like Boutte. So, they’re not totally unbiased.

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Nevertheless, Boutte is trending in the right direction. But does that mean he could earn a spot on the initial 53-man roster?

It’s complicated. The Patriots typically carry only five receivers, and DeVante Parker, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Kendrick Bourne and rookie Demario Douglas are roster locks. That leaves just one spot, which likely would be filled by second-year receiver Tyquan Thornton. The Baylor product has endured a disappointing second camp in New England, but there simply is no way the Patriots are giving up on a second-round pick this soon.

However, Thornton once again is hurt after suffering a shoulder injury during Thursday’s practice. The oft-injured wideout reportedly is “week-to-week,” potentially putting his availability for the Sept. 10 season opener in jeopardy.

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If Thornton isn’t ready for Week 1, the door could open for Boutte and/or fellow roster hopeful Malk Cunningham. Third-year pro Tre Nixon also would be worth considering, but he suffered a scary-looking upper-body injury during Saturday night’s game.

Ultimately, Boutte is more promising than both Cunningham and Nixon, and you could argue he’s been more impressive than Thornton this summer. New England also could decide to roll with six wideouts, making the roster math a bit easier for Boutte.

At this juncture, if a receiver other than Smith-Schuster, Parker, Bourne, Douglas and Thornton is going to make the Patriots roster, it probably is going to be Boutte. But things can change.

Featured image via Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Sports Images