3 Wide receivers the Chicago Bears must watch for 2023 NFL Draft
By Joseph Herff
Chicago Bears 2023 NFL Draft Target: Kayshon Boutte, LSU
When it comes to the number one and two wide receivers of the NFL draft, a lot of analysts have it being a toss-up between Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Kayshon Boutte. Boutte may not have the stats to back up his play as Smith-Njigba does, but he has shown on the field he can be a dominant wide receiver in the future.
As a freshman, Boutte impacted the team immediately tallying 45 receptions for 735 yards (16.3 average) and five touchdowns. He set the SEC and LSU record for most receiving yards in a game as a freshman with a win over Ole Miss in which he caught 14 passes for 308 yards and three touchdowns. In his sophomore season, Boutte started out hot bringing in 509 yards and nine touchdowns in just six games until he had to have season-ending surgery on his ankle.
Despite poor and inconsistent quarterback play, Boutte has still shined and shown what he’s capable of. It helps too with the recent wide receivers to come from LSU into the NFL (Ja’Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson, and Terrace Marshall). Boutte is an explosive deep threat that always seems to be open and possesses a rare quickness and speed. The main concern on Boutte is durability as the surgery he had on his ankle was a second surgery for the same injury he suffered his freshman year. He needs to prove this year he can stay on the field.
The home run ability of Boutte and Mooney would be deadly. Pair that with a reliable slot wide receiver and an already reliable Cole Kmet and the Bears have a great balance of safe checkdowns and deep threats / explosive players. Those two together could be the most exciting wide receiver room in football if paired together.