Name: Josh Boutte
Position fit: Guard
Stats to know: Surrendered three of his eight QB pressures (one sack, one QB hit, six hurries) against Alabama.
What he does best:
- Boutte’s positioning before he engages on a block is his best work and crucial to his success.
- This consistent attention to detail in his positioning ensured he was very rarely culpable for play breaking penetration as either a run-blocker or a pass protector.
- This played out particularly well in pass protection where pass-rushers had to go through Boutte or side step him to get to the quarterback; Boutte almost never gave a pass-rusher a short path to the quarterback.
- Took good angles to blocks in LSU’s zone scheme again ensuring that defenders had to go through Boutte to the ball and he had just enough power to consistently maintain these positions and give a consistent platform to his running backs.
- Did his best work on pulls against defensive backs playing contain on pin-pull plays. Cleared defensive backs wide consistently to maintain and widen outside running lanes.
- Boutte played very upright at LSU, which put a premium on his positioning before engagement on blocks as he consistently ceded the high ground to defenders after engagement.
- This limited his ability to bring power into blocks to create movement after blocks engaged as well. The pre-snap position he gained was crucial to his block success.
- LSU’s offensive scheme was very zone-heavy, limited exposure to gap scheme (almost 4:1 zone to gap scheme ratio). There were some impressive double team blocks on play-side of power and counter but few and far between.
Bottom line: Boutte produced a solid 2016 season highlighted by a strong game (90.9 overall) against Missouri where he helped pave the way for 100-yard rushing games for two LSU running backs. This game was the exception however and for the most part Boutte’s play is highlighted as a player whose consistent positioning on blocks ensures that he doesn’t surrender the penetration in run or pass games that can blow plays up but who does little to add value to the running game and move defenders against their will to create extra space on the ground.