OT Yodny Cajuste – Patriots Rookie Spotlight

Yodny Cajuste

The Patriots Rookie Spotlight is a daily series where I will go down the list and break down each of the 10 players taken in the 2019 NFL Draft. So far we have covered WR N’Keal HarryDB Joejuan WilliamsDE Chase Winovich, and RB Damien Harris. Today we will break down offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste.

Yodny Cajuste was drafted 101st overall out of West Virginia University. He was the final third-round pick selected by the Patriots. Cajuste is projected almost unanimously as a starting tackle in the NFL. His draft stock took a hit because of his deep injury history. Yodny is 6’5″, 312 lbs. with 34″ arms. He has the size, length, and mobility to stay at left tackle.

Injury History

In 2015 Cajuste started six games for the Mountaineers before sustaining a knee injury that kept him off the field until the Cactus Bowl. The following season Cajuste suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first game of the season. On March 28th, Yodny had surgery to repair a quad tear. His injury had a three-month timetable, enough to impact Cajuste’s draft stock. Prior to the injury Cajuste was considered a potential first-round pick by some industry experts.

Accolades

Yodny Cajuste was one of the best offensive tackles in the country his senior year. He earned the Big 12 Conference Co-Offensive Lineman of the Year Award. He also was a second-team All-American his senior year and started 30 of 31 games at tackle during his career at West Virginia.

Pass Blocking

Cajuste is considered a big mauler or run blocker, but he can hold up in pass protection. In fact, during his last two seasons Cajuste allowed only 25 pressures on 855 pass-blocking snaps according to Pro Football Focus. In other words, he allowed a pressure every 2.8% of pass plays. His mobility made him very solid against edge rushers, and he is very strong at the point of attack. Cajuste is also known for being a very heads-up lineman. He has a high football IQ and does very well at picking up pass rushers. He excels at dissecting the rush, knowing who he needs to block and where he needs to be.

Run Blocking

Yodny Cajuste is rated highly as a run blocker. He is able to drive his opponent back and out of the ball carrier’s way. Cajuste is also known for his ability to get up-field and block at the second level. Because of his high football IQ and motor, Cajuste frequently makes an impact on multiple defenders in the run game.

Future With The Patriots

Dante Scarnecchia is the best offensive-line coach in the NFL. Yodny should learn a lot under his tutelage, as he is considered a very coachable player. Cajuste will most likely become a swing-tackle during his rookie season as he develops into a starting tackle down the road. Isaiah Wynn is currently projected to take over for Trent Brown, who took a record-setting contract to protect Derek Carr’s blindside in Oakland. That being said, Wynn has never played a snap in a regular season game due to a torn Achilles injury last August. Cajuste will have the chance to work his way into the mix with a strong camp and pre-season.

If you liked this article, check out some other installments of this series, where I covered first-round pick N’Keal Harry here, second-round pick Joejuan Williams here, and fellow third-round picks Chase Winovich and Damien Harris. Stayed tuned for my breakdown of Hjalte Froholdt tomorrow.

N’Keal Harry – Patriots Rookie Spotlight

Joejuan Williams – Patriots Rookie Spotlight

Chase Winovich – Patriots Rookie Spotlight

Damien Harris – Patriots Rookie Spotlight

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