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David Shaw on Devon Cajuste: Don’t ask ‘What is he?’

The San Francisco 49ers gave UDFA Devon Cajuste a sizable chunk of guaranteed money. There are questions about what kind of role he might have, but his college coach doesn’t think we should worry about it.

The San Francisco 49ers have numerous questions at wide receiver and tight end, which opens the door for young players to potentially grab a role. One player with an opportunity, but an uphill climb in front of him is undrafted free agent Devon Cajuste. The Stanford receiver signed with the 49ers shortly after the draft, landing the third highest amount of guaranteed money.

Cajuste is listed as a wide receiver, but there has been frequent discussion about his versatility. Earlier in the week, Stanford head coach David Shaw did some media earlier this week, and he discussed Cajuste with team reporter Joe Fann.

It will be interesting to see how his speed translates to the NFL. He ran a 4.57 40 at his Pro Day, and 4.62 at the NFL Combine. Of course, he also measured in at 6’3, 234 pounds. That’s not too shabby speed for a guy that size.

Chip Kelly is a big proponent of fitting the system to the players, rather than trying to force players into a role that does not fit them. That doesn’t mean he won’t push on players, but if he thinks he can carve out a role specific to a player’s skillset, he’ll do something with it. Cajuste is a talented player, but scouting reports point to a guy who struggles with burst off the line and separation from cornerbacks. That’s not good for a wide receiver, but if the 49ers think they can maneuver him around, they can find some real value. It might take some time to get him there, so it is entirely possible he spends his first year on the practice squad. But, maybe he surprises us. After all, with so many questions among the wide receivers, tight ends, and running backs, there are opportunities to be had.