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A move to TE could aid Devon Cajuste's fantasy outlook

Leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft, each day NFL Fantasy will profile a prospect who could make a splash in fantasy next season. Today's subject is former Stanford wide receiver Devon Cajuste.

Operating in Stanford's pro-style offense will only help Devon Cajuste in his transition to the NFL, even if that offense didn't exactly shower targets upon his 6-foot-4 frame. Cajuste is an intriguing prospect fantasy-wise, as his size allows him to be a mismatch, but his lack of raw athleticism makes it tough at times for him to separate from corners on the outside or when he tries to go deep. Could a switch to an H-back/move tight end be in his future? I try to get a bead on the former Cardinal below.


     » Big frame with long arms
     » Surprising short-area quickness
     » Decent route-runner
     » Strong hands

Cajuste's biggest asset is size. Standing 6-foot-4 and weighing 234 pounds makes him a physical mismatch for almost any cornerback. He's able to use his frame effectively to box out and shield defenders at the catch point, and his long arms help give him a large catch radius.

He's a pretty reliable pass catcher with his strong, nearly 11 inch hands. NFL Media's Gil Brandt said Cajuste caught the ball "extremely well" at Stanford's pro day earlier this spring.


     » Athleticism lacking as a wide receiver
     » Occasional focus drops
     » Minimal wiggle in space

Cajuste's athleticism is a big knock against him as a wide receiver, as his 40 time and other measurables are nothing to write home to mom about. However, using the tools on, if you change Cajuste's position to tight end, all of a sudden his athletic profile looks like a game changer. That's why I'm not surprised Lance Zierlein also forecasted a potential switch to H-back or move tight end at the NFL level. Cajuste's deficiencies would be masked by having him lineup in the slot and backfield, more often facing linebackers and safeties than traditional cornerbacks. This transition could take time though, so it'll be worth watching which team nabs him come draft day.

Ideal NFL fantasy fits

     » New England Patriots
     » Green Bay Packers
     » Chicago Bears
     » Atlanta Falcons

By trading for Martellus Bennett, New England seems to be wanting to move back toward the two-tight end offense they executed so well in 2011-2012. Cajuste could give them a nice backup to learn behind Bennett and Rob Gronkowski. The Packers are still looking for speed at the tight end position, and Cajuste could be Jared Cook insurance in case he once again fails to reach his potential. Chicago looks set for now with Zach Miller, but could use another big option out of the slot or as a backup tight end, which would allow Cajuste to develop. The Falcons signed Mohamed Sanu but still need size other than Julio Jones. Cajuste could both push for reps at tight end, or lineup as a big slot receiver and red-zone threat for Matt Ryan.

Early fantasy draft projection

There's a lot we don't know yet about Cajuste's NFL and fantasy future, but he's certainly a prospect worth watching. As a traditional wide receiver, his fantasy ceiling is certainly lower unless he's able to carve out a Marques Colston-like role in the slot, or serve as a straight up red-zone option. As a pure wide receiver, he's not worth taking in redrafts and could maybe be a fourth-round option in rookie drafts. However, if he's able to make the transition to H-back, in the right offense he could be a really interesting complementary piece. For now, his redraft value is non-existent, but dynasty owners in deeper leagues should keep an eye on Cajuste's status come draft day.

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-- Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexGelhar

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