New England Patriots receiver Kayshon Boutte was once viewed as a first-round talent, but a few things caused him to slip to the sixth round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
One of those speculated concerns was his ability, or rather, his inability, to be coached. But one former Patriot doesn’t buy those rumors.
Kevin Faulk, who played for the Patriots from 1999-2011 and was on LSU’s coaching staff from 2018 to 2022, defended Boutte against the coachability concerns surrounding him in an interview with The Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian, calling them “crazy.”
“All I can tell you is I don’t know where that came from. Because when I was with that kid, he was very coachable,” Faulk told Guregian. “When you say a kid’s not coachable, that means a coach can’t relate to who the kid is as a player. That’s all that is to me.”
One of the other things that might have dinged Kayshon Boutte’s draft stock was the ankle injury he suffered in 2021. The fractured ankle caused Boutte to miss the second half of that season and required a second surgery in early 2022 when it wasn’t healing the way they hoped it would.
Faulk mentioned how well Boutte was doing before that injury, catching nine touchdowns in six games that season, and how it could take some time to get back to that level. He also pointed out that there’s already a connection that Boutte might have with one key member on the Patriots’ coaching staff to help strengthen his case as a draft steal.
“They know what they’re getting,” Faulk said. “Bill O’Brien coached against him when he was with Alabama. So he knew what type of receiver he was getting.”
Boutte had some testy back-and-forth with LSU coach Brian Kelly ahead of the 2022 season, Kelly’s first in Baton Rouge. Kelly called out Boutte’s leadership ability during spring practice that year and there were rumors of Boutte possibly transferring following LSU’s season-opening loss.
But the player and coach seemed to make amends by season’s end.
“I think he’s feeling comfortable with his role and his leadership role,” Kelly told reporters following a game in October. “We’ve elevated his leadership role and he’s been outstanding. He grabbed me on the sideline and said, ‘Coach, don’t forget the first things that you have to say when you go in the locker room.’ He’s even scripting my stuff now. I was like, ‘Oh thanks, Kayshon. Appreciate it. I couldn’t find you the first week. Now you’re running the show.’
“That’s what I love about him. He’s been so engaged, so part of what we’re doing. And we’re better because of it and you can see when he touches the football he’s electric. We’re here because our best players are playing their best football.”
Boutte didn’t have as great of a season in 2022 as many hoped for, recording 48 receptions for 538 yards and two touchdowns. But it’s hard to deny that the talent isn’t there with the former five-star recruit that was ranked as the second-best receiver in the 2020 recruiting class.