Joe Schoen isn’t done considering ways to improve the New York Giants’ depth along the offensive line. Those options will include hosting a former third-round draft pick of the New England Patriots.
Yodny Cajuste will visit with both the Giants and New York Jets on Tuesday, May 23, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
Cajuste was taken 101st overall by the Pats in 2019, but the offensive tackle is now the final member of that year’s class to be sent packing by New England head coach Bill Belichick. Unable to stay healthy and get onto the field for the first two years of his career, Cajuste remains an unknown quantity, but he does have the ability to play at either tackle spot and even guard.
That versatility should appeal to the Giants, who still need bodies up front, despite general manager Schoen selecting center John Michael Schmitz in the second round of the 2023 NFL draft.
Once Highly-Touted Pick Could Help Giants
Giving head coach Brian Daboll and his staff more options along the trenches has been a priority for Schoen this offseason. The approach has borne fruit on defense, following the signings of Super Bowl defensive tackles Rakeem Nunez-Roches and A’Shawn Robinson, but the O-line is lacking reinforcements.
Cajuste fits the bill, despite appearing in just 17 games since being drafted. The 27-year-old has made a mere five starts, but at 6-foot-5 and 310 pounds, Cajuste has the size to be an asset in both phases of blocking.
No. 72 showcased his run-blocking chops during preseason action against the Philadelphia Eagles in 2021, per highlights from Taylor Kyles of Patriots on CLNS.
Clearing lanes like this on the ground is the basic requirement for Giants’ blockers knocking open holes for bluechip running back Saquon Barkley to exploit.
Fortunately, the same power helped make Cajuste a force at West Virginia, where he often dominated at left tackle. It’s a position where the Giants are well set at the starting-level, thanks to Andrew Thomas, but Daboll will appreciate how Cajuste played three games at right tackle in 2022.
That versatility could make Cajuste the swing tackle the Giants need. There aren’t many other suitable candidates on the roster, while depth is also thin along the interior.
Giants Have Question Marks Among Line Rotation
Tyre Phillips and Korey Cunningham are in the mix to be the backup tackles, but neither has convinced. Cajuste has a better pedigree when he’s been healthy, having been named Big 12 Conference Co-Offensive Lineman of the Year as a Senior in 2018.
It was a year in which Cajuste barely yielded any ground to pass-rushers, per Pro Football Focus.
A litany of injuries, including knee, hamstring, thumb and calf problems, have prevented Cajuste from showcasing his talents, but he’s worth a team-friendly deal if he stays healthy. The Giants would get adequate cover at both edges of the line.
Signing Cajuste would also leave Wyatt Davis and Jack Anderson free to provide depth along an interior weakened during free agency. Nick Gates joined NFC East rivals the Washington Commanders, while center Jon Feliciano signed with the San Francisco 49ers, so the Giants need fresh options behind Schmitz and guards Mark Glowinski and Shane Lemieux.
More Heavy on Giants News
Loading more stories