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2019 NFL Draft Profile: West Virginia Left Tackle Yodny Cajuste

Cajuste was a four-year starter for the Mountaineer and could be a diamond-in-the-rough for some team.

NCAA Football: Big 12 Media Day Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Yodny Cajuste was a four year starter at left tackle for the West Virginia Mountaineers. Cajuste redshirted his true freshman season and then started the first six games of the 2015 season before a knee injury sidelined him for the rest of the regular season. Cajuste only managed one game in 2016 before another knee injury ended his season. Thankfully the knee injuries did not return and Cajuste played in the next 23 games for the Mountaineers before deciding to sit out the Camping World Bowl so he could focus on the upcoming NFL Combine and Draft. At the NFL Combine, Yodny put up 225 pounds 32 times, which is a WVU record. Cajuste did not participate in the other drills due to a quad injury that required surgery.

Highlights

Strengths

Cajuste has the classic body of a NFL starting left tackle. Standing 6’-5” and weighing over 300 pounds, Cajuste is a strong prospect who has the ability to lock onto a defensive player and hold the point of attack. Cajuste showed good ability to move and slide with pass rushers, handling several NFL caliber rushers throughout his tenure in the Big 12 and with the wide open offense West Virginia ran the past two seasons, he had plenty of experience.

Weaknesses

Despite the size and frame, Yodny has at times not played nearly as physical as he should. He can be knocked off balance by opponents who use leverage and get their pads lower and didn’t sustain his blocks. One note that other analysts pointed out is that Cajuste has a tendency to get his hands wide which will likely results in scrutiny and flags at the next level.

Possible Fits

Despite having all of the look and feel of an NFL left tackle, left tackle in the NFL is extremely hard and better players than Cajuste have been humbled and turned into interior players. I’m reminded of Robert Gallery in the 2004 NFL Draft, who was a can’t-miss, once-in-a-decade left tackle who within two years moved inside to salvage his career. Look for teams to view Cajuste more as a guard or swing-tackle who can flip outside in a pinch.

Teams like the Arizona Cardinals, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and Green Bay Packers who struggled with pass protection last year could be possible landing spots for Yodny.

Outlook

I think Yodny will surprise some people in the NFL but don’t be surprised if he’s a guy like Quinton Spain, who has a successful career but you rarely hear anything about because he’s on the interior of the line.

Projection that will be wrong: Yodny Cajuste - pick #105 N.Y. Jets