Every year through the NFL Draft, a new class of rookies enters the fray with high expectations and aspirations. While many will go on to have successful careers, some will inevitably fall short and be labeled as “busts.” The 2023 NFL Draft Rookie Guide analyzes these players and breaks down their draft profiles.
In this piece, we will take a closer look at the Rookie Guide and identify some of the players who have the potential to be future busts according to the 2023 NFL Draft Rankings within the guide. Two wide receivers with shades of a positive outlook but a precarious draft process are on the docket.
First up is LSU receiver Kayshon Boutte. With an underwhelming NFL Combine and strange off-the-field situations, Boutte’s NFL Draft stock has slipped.
Achieving a 94.8 Athleticism Score, Boutte ranks No. 33 out of 38 receivers. His best metric was his 67th-percentile (4.50 seconds) 40-yard dash. His lowest were the 108.3 (2nd-percentile) Burst Score and 9.72 (6th-percentile) Catch Radius. Despite the low athleticism metrics, Boutte was a productive receiver early in college. He has an 18.3 (98th-percentile) Breakout Age, with his college career high in receiving yards coming as a freshman. 14 of his 16 touchdowns came before his age 20 season.
Marvin Mims > Kayshon Boutte
– @DannyBKelly pic.twitter.com/AnOGl2bVPL
— PlayerProfiler (@rotounderworld) April 16, 2023
Even though Boutte had a strong college start, he fell behind Malik Nabers and finished with 538 receiving yards in 11 games in 2022. The combination of subpar testing and a decent-but-underwhelming final season will lead to lower draft capital. In the Rookie Guide, Boutte is graded as the No. 14 WR with a WR18 rookie fantasy ranking. Ranked behind more productive and athletic receivers like Rashee Rice and Marvin Mims. The Rookie Guide projects third-round draft capital for Boutte with a profile headed toward bust status.
Rising after the Senior Bowl, Tank Dell‘s NFL Draft stock has stumbled a bit. He lands graded as the No. 19 WR with a WR17 rookie fantasy ranking in the Rookie Guide.
Despite a 4.49 (69th-percentile) 40-yard dash, Dell possesses a 75.6 (6th-percentile) Speed Score. He is a smaller receiver, standing at 5-8 and weighing 165-pounds. Dell transferred a couple times, going through JUCO before playing three seasons at Houston. As a Cougar, he finished with back-to-back seasons of 1,300 receiving yards, amassing a 30.8-percent (92nd-percentile) College Target Share. However, these seasons came later in his career and his 20.9 (40th-percentile) Breakout Age is older than most other receivers in this class. Dell’s play style compares more to small slot receivers, with Calvin Austin as his Play Style Comp via the Rookie Guide. In a draft class with several smaller slot receivers, Dell is the lightest and ranks below several of the other slot options.
Dell is ranked in the same tier of late Day 2 receivers as Boutte. Unlike Boutte, Dell does not have the youth that GM’s often value as potential. Teams may look to choose younger, bigger, more athletic players like Trey Palmer and Parker Washington, valuing Dell’s college production less. The Rookie Guide projects third-round draft capital for Dell with a profile trending to a bust candidacy.