New York Jets continue exploring the market for OL depth
The New England Patriots’ 2019 draft class is one of the worst in their history. When Patriots brass recently decided to cut ties with offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste, it purged the final piece of that draft class from the roster; 10 players were drafted and none remain four years later. It may be one of the best examples of the old saying “quality over quantity”.
Sometimes a player just needs a new start somewhere else, and Cajuste may get that fresh start in New York – in either a green or blue jersey.
Former #Patriots OT Yodny Cajuste will be visiting the #Jets today and the #Giants tomorrow, per source.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 22, 2023
According to a report by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the former West Virginia man visited the Jets yesterday and will be visiting the Giants later today.
If you’re not familiar with the name, that’s understandable. Cajuste missed his first two years in the league through injury. His rookie year was lost to a quad injury that required surgery and the 2022 season was a wash due to a knee injury. Ultimately, Cajuste has only started five games in his NFL career.
Unfortunately for Cajuste, injuries are nothing new. After redshirting in 2014, he missed multiple games in 2015. He was then restricted to just 15 snaps in 2016 prior to suffering a season-ending injury.
Cajuste did manage to stay healthy during his final two years for the Mountaineers, culminating in a fine final season in 2018 where he allowed zero sacks and just 12 pressures in 414 pass-blocking snaps. With this coming on the back of a 2017 season where he allowed one sack and 13 pressures, Cajuste started to receive some real draft buzz.
His NFL.com scouting report indicated a player who was raw but had plenty of potential to become a starter in the league at either tackle or guard, saying Cajuste “has starting tackle talent with the body type for consideration inside.”
Unfortunately for Cajuste, injuries have derailed that development and he struggled last year in three starts at right tackle. He allowed three sacks and 12 pressures with an abysmal pass-blocking efficiency rating of 93.4, ranking 93rd out of 96 qualified tackles (min. 100 pass-blocking snaps). Two of those sacks came in a Week 11 loss to the Jets.
Considering Cajuste has played just 278 offensive snaps over four years, this may be a case of Joe Douglas doing some due diligence, just in case the Jets need to go to the well for offensive tackle help later this year as they did in 2022.
Not nesecarrily O-line depth needed but tackle I get. Plenty of talent with guys best suited for inside but tackle could use a safety net.