USA Today Sends LSU WR to Vikings in 2023 NFL Mock Draft

Is it possible that lightning could strike twice? The last time an LSU WR ended up being overlooked as a top pick and fell into the 20s of the first round, it was the Minnesota Vikings who swooped in and snatched him with the 22nd overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. This pick, of course, ended up being Justin Jefferson, and 2.5 years into his NFL career, he’s one of, if not the best wide receivers in the league.

Of course, we are still months away from taking NFL Draft talks seriously as many things will change between now and April 27th. However, once again, an LSU WR is falling down draft boards after a tumultuous start to the 2022 season, and it is starting to become a trend to send him to the Vikings. That wide receiver is Kayshon Boutte, a player with one of the craziest skillsets in this entire draft class.

Another LSU WR for Vikings?

In their latest 2023 NFL mock draft, USA Today sent Boutte to the Minnesota Vikings with the 29th overall pick. the wide receiver has fallen out of favor with some drafters due to his lower numbers so far in 2022.

So far this season, he has recorded 38 receptions for 388 yards and 1 touchdown over the course of nine games. For reference, he recorded 38 receptions, 509 yards, and 9 TDs in 2021 while playing just six games.

Of course, there should be some concern due to the lowered numbers. However, in recent weeks Boutte seems to be getting back to his old self. Two weeks ago, he caught 7 passes for 51 yards in LSU’s victory over Alabama.

Here’s Luke Easterling’s write-up as to why he thinks Boutte makes sense for the Vikings:

Adam Thielen isn’t getting any younger, and the Vikings should find a younger understudy to eventually take over as Justin Jefferson’s running mate at receiver. Boutte hasn’t put up the kind of numbers many expected so far this season, but he’s still got the skill set to become a No. 1 receiver in the pros.

Luke Easterling on Kayshon Boutte

It’s true, Adam Thielen is not getting any younger, and at times, his age is apparent on the field. There are times where he gets bullied by opposing cornerbacks. Boutte is a superb athlete, and his ability to break free on his routes allows him to make key plays for LSU. He’s very slippery after the catch as well, allowing him to turn checkdown throws into huge plays.

The duo of Boutte and Justin Jefferson could be a deadly one in the NFL, especially if he returns to the level of play that he displayed in 2020 and 2021. The Vikings have tried to solve the issue of WR2 by trading for T.J. Hockenson, but there’s still a chance that a potential playoff run gets derailed because a team is able to slow down Jefferson.

In that case, it makes a lot of sense that the Vikings could target the wide receiver position in the 2023 NFL Draft. If they do, Kayshon Boutte would be a very solid option.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.