2. Kayshon Boutte
A sixth-round pick back in April, Kayshon Boutte left much to be desired in Week 1.
The rookie wide receiver saw an elevated role due to DeVante Parker being sidelined, but didn’t do much with his opportunity. Boutte finished his NFL debut without a reception on 4 targets, even dropping 2 passes and failing to stay in bounds in the final minute when the Patriots were pushing to win the game.
Adding salt to the wound is the fact that Boutte was given an overall PFF grade of 45.2. To understand how disappointing that is, rookie guards Atonio Mafi (38.5) and Sidy Sow (28.8) were the only players on offense with worse grades.
Even though Boutte’s first-ever NFL showing was forgettable, I have faith that he will break out this week.
For starters, he saw a fair amount of playing time. His playing 68.8% of offensive snaps only trailed Kendrick Bourne (91.3%) as far as wide receivers go. He was even targeted twice in the red zone, further proving that the coaching staff hasn’t lost hope just yet.
The Dolphins also weren’t all that great when it came to defending the pass last weekend, allowing 228 receiving yards and a touchdown with a 69.7% completion percentage. With how good Mac Jones looked throwing the ball against the Eagles, I don’t see Miami’s defense getting back on track.
If the Patriots want to keep pace with the Dolphins’ high-octane offense, airing out the ball is a must, meaning Boutte will be called upon to step up.
With Parker hopefully returning to the lineup, Boutte should also see more favorable matchups. Assuming that his snap share doesn’t change too much, I expect the rookie wideout to have a stronger showing in a crucial divisional matchup.