Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft Profile: Tackle Yodny Cajuste
In the sixth of many Arizona Cardinals NFL draft profiles, we look at University of West Virginia’s Yodny Cajuste; a mauling left tackle with an impressive resume.
One of the reasons for quarterback Will Grier’s success at West Virginia can be credited to Yodny Cajuste. The offensive tackle kept his quarterback’s blindside covered and produced in the run-game due to a never-ending mean streak. In 2018, he was graced with the Big 12 co-offensive lineman of the year award, sharing it with Dalton Risner and Dru Samia; two highly thought of prospects.
Although he has had more passing blocking snaps in college (1066, per Pro Football Focus), than run-blocking snaps (869, PFF), I believe he can make a name for himself in the NFL as a run-blocker. Despite the fact that he ranks 77th in the class 2019 in run-block success rate with 89.3%, he has the game to be very very effective as a run-blocker.
Standing at 6-4, 312-pounds, Cajuste is a bruiser of a man. At the combine, he continued to prove that status with 32 reps on the bench press. Cajuste grip is like a vice-grip, and he’s an animal when establishing his dominance at the point of attack. In the run game, he uses his pure power to drive opposing rushers off the line which often opens a gap for the ball carrier to run through.
But he’s no slouch as a pass-blocker either. During the combine, he showed off his phenomenal mirroring technique as he uses his speed off the snap. He also has a strong punch that can stun pass-rushers when timed right. He also has rather light feet and has his head constantly on a swivel.
According to PFF, Cajuste allowed just 3.0 sacks during his tenure in Morgantown. He also ranks 17th in the ’19 class in pass-block efficiency with a stout 98.5 grade, per PFF.
One of his unspoken strengths is his ability to get out in the open field and take right angles on blocks especially in the screen game. His tree trunk legs allow him to take on power rushers with ease which enables him to keep opposing rushers at bay. He is also known as a bit of a bully on the field — one of the most notable examples of his bully mindset is his ejection against Texas due to just that.
However, there is a bit that I’d like to see Cajuste work on. He needs to improve on his kick when reeling around the edge, and while his hands are powerful, the technique could be worked on. He often plays with a high pad-level aswell. But, these are all fixable issues that come with time. For now, I view Cajuste as one of my favorite tackle prospects in this draft.
Final verdict: Yodny Cajuste should be picked around the late-first or early-second. If he does fall to the second, don’t be surprised if the Arizona Cardinals secure their left tackle of the future in the West Virginia alumn.
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