The New England Patriots made 12 selections in the 2023 NFL Draft, and wide receiver Kayshon Boutte was the biggest steal among them — at least according to Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar. The Patriots picked Boutte up in the sixth round, despite him being considered a potential first-round prospect just a year ago.
New England Patriots: Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU
Boutte was believed by some to be a first-round prospect coming into the 2022 season, but an odd year in which he just didn’t live up to expectations obviously tanked his draft stock, and that’s why the Patriots were able to select him with the 187th overall pick in the sixth round. This could be an epic steal for a New England offense in need of receiver talent if Boutte can maximize his attributes (speed, separation, YAC ability) and develop the stuff that needs developing (drops, route inconsistencies, catch radius). If Boutte can do stuff like he did on this touchdown against Georgia, where he just nuked the NCAA’s best defense on a simple crosser, he could be Mac Jones’ new best buddy.
Boutte had an inconsistent college career, but the Patriots apparently feel at least somewhat confident that the former five-star recruit can develop into a productive — and reliable — player for them. If he can, the “biggest draft steal” label might very well be justified.