Each year, we run a series of post called "90-in-90" here at Niners Nation. The idea is that we'll take a look at every single player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few different ways. This is to help give everyone a basic understanding of a roster. Of course, this roster will change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not strictly one per day but you get the idea.
The San Francisco 49ers have a lot of question marks at wide receiver and besides Torrey Smith, nothing can be said to be a sure thing now that Chip Kelly has taken over as head coach. Devon Cajuste has an even tougher road as an undrafted free agent. Well, that is what I would say if it wasn’t for how versatile he could be for the team.
What the 49ers plan to do with Cajuste is anyone’s guess. On paper, he’s a wide receiver, but you ever watched him at Stanford, the kid could easily be used as a tight end or even in an h-back role. In fact the versatility has been a point as to why he was an undrafted free agent.
So a possible reason Cajuste went undrafted could be the very reason he makes this squad. If it’s just him against the wide receivers, his odds would significantly get worse, but since he can play a few positions, and knows how to get the ball, he might make the squad because you could plug him anywhere in various packages and gain some success. There are some questions about his power and strength; while he is speedy, his burst is mediocre and he does have issues with separation. Make no mistake though, Devon Cajuste is a very interesting prospect and while he may not see the field in 2016, don’t count him out of fighting his way onto an NFL roster as his experience grows.
He is in the first year of a 3-year UDFA contract, with a $10,000 signing bonus. If he makes the roster, his base salary would be $450,000, and his cap hit would be $453,333.
What to expect in 2016:
Watch his practice reports when training camp starts. In 2015, DeAndrew White, another UDFA impressed everyone during training camp with catches and ‘it’ factor. Cajuste could very well follow that same route and fly in under the radar with some sweet plays and make the team as a wide receiver.
While wide receiver is pretty much unproven, theres also a lot of veterans ready to show what they can do now that Anquan Boldin is gone. Don’t be shocked if you see Cajuste lining up at tight end or even in h-back roles. It will be interesting to see how he does in those roles at the next level. It will also be pretty amusing if we see him line up opposite 49ers fullback-turned tight end Bruce Miller. If Cajuste can show some good use as a Swiss Army knife type role, he could become a very valuable player for the team.
Odds of making the roster:
There are three scenarios that I see happening: He’ll either make the team as depth for wide receiver, make the team as a versatile WR/TE/HB, or be placed on the practice squad for a year once/if he clears wavers. Of those scenarios, I see the second being the reason he gets onto the 53. Cajuste simply has too much talent and versatility to be released and go nowhere. I do think the chances of Cajuste seeing the field consistently are very low for his first year, but the 49ers may want to keep the rookie around to give him some experience. If he impresses during practice, he may be too valuable to take the chance on the practice squad.