The Patriots make a big splash with first rookie contract signing

Dec 3, 2022; Atlanta, GA, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Kayshon Boutte (7) carries the ball
Dec 3, 2022; Atlanta, GA, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Kayshon Boutte (7) carries the ball / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots signed the first rookie of their draft class on Thursday, making it official with wide receiver Kayshon Boutte.

He is the first of the twelve players the Patriots drafted this year and is the most hyped player by the fans since his selection, outside of first-rounder Christian Gonzalez.

Hitting on a receiver high in the draft has certainly not been Bill Belichick's strong point; do we really need to be reminded about N'Keal Harry? But there was a lot of hope he would make the move in the first round, given how needy the position has been for years now.

Of course, that's not what went down, and Boutte was the first receiver the Patriots drafted, all the way in the sixth round.

But there is a silver lining to Boutte's signing; he was once considered a first-round prospect. Injuries and alleged early clashes with a new head coach impacted his performance since then, but it doesn't negate his talent or the production he brought to the field during his time at LSU.

He's already being discussed as possibly one of the biggest steals of the draft because of this, and fortunately for the Patriots, they'll reap the benefits if that assessment is correct.

As one of the more prominent needs on the team and his eagerness to get started, it's no surprise that Boutte was the first rookie signing of the group. When speaking to the media for his introduction conference call, he gushed about being drafted and feeling ready to get started.

"I am motivated more than ever, probably. It’s a blessing. It’s a blessing that I made it to the NFL and get drafted by the Patriots. It’s what every kid dreams of."

Because his injury history and overall work ethic have been questioned by draft scouts and teams in the league, likely the reason for his falling to the sixth round, Boutte made sure to put the doubts to rest as he shared he now has some extra motivation entering the NFL.

"I would say I want everybody to know that I’m a hard worker and I’m going to give 100% about everything. I feel like I’ve been doubted a lot, and I feel like it’s time for me to prove that I’m not that same person."

He seems like the perfect fit for a Patriots team known for rostering several players over the years with chips on their shoulders. Hopefully, Belichick can help harness the talent Boutte displayed in college, and he can become the receiver this Patriots' offense has been needing for 2023 and beyond.