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NY Jets Optimistic Roster Breakdown: WR Lawrence Cager

NY Jets (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
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NY Jets’ undrafted wide receiver Lawrence Cager could push for a roster spot this year.

The NY Jets will enter the 2020 season with a new-look receiving corps and multiple players vying for playing time. And one player who could surprise many and come away with a roster spot is Lawrence Cager.

While the focus will definitely be on offseason additions such as Denzel Mims and Breshad Perriman, Cager has a chance to not only steal a roster spot, but carve out a role in the team’s offense.

Signed as an undrafted free agent soon after the 2020 NFL Draft, Cager joins a Jets receiver group lacking in depth. And given his unique skill set, he could find a way to secure a spot on the final 53-man roster.

Cager spent the first four years of his collegiate carer at the University of Miami never managing to accomplish much in part due to injuries and partially due to a crowded depth chart. Ultimately, he decided to transfer to Georgia after graduating from Miami.

That turned out to be an excellent decision as the Maryland native managed career-highs in catches and receiving yards despite missing five of his team’s 14 games due to two separate injuries.

Cager finished the year with 33 receptions for 476 yards and four touchdowns in nine games establishing himself as a favorite target of quarterback Jake Fromm when healthy.

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But his limited collegiate success and his injury history led him to take the undrafted route to the NFL. Now with the Jets, how could Cager ensure that 2020 is a successful year?

How Lawrence Cager can find success with the NY Jets in 2020

Cager will have the advantage of playing in a wide receiver corps that features at least two to three open roster spots this summer. Really, only the aforementioned likes of Mims, Perriman, and Jamison Crowder are guaranteed jobs.

If he could impress enough in training camp and the preseason, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be able to earn his way on to the team.

At 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, Cager is a big-bodied red-zone threat who excels in jump-ball situations making him a touchdown threat every time his team is nearing the end zone.

Cager has elite length and hand strength that allows him to go up and grab the ball while battling opposing defenders. His high-point ability is impressive as is his body control that allows him to thrive on back-shoulder passes.

Essentially, he’s your stereotypical big-bodied red-zone threat.

But he’s far from a perfect prospect either. Cager doesn’t have great speed and isn’t exactly the most explosive athlete. His route-running footwork is dull and he remains a non-threat after the catch.

The exact physical traits that give him an advantage in some aspects of the game hold him back in others. Simply put, Cager is never going to be a complete wide receiver.

His best bet would be to carve out a role as a red-zone specialist who excels in jump-ball situations. Separating with crip route-running is never going to be his forte and neither is making plays after the catch.

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But get him in one-on-one situations and he’ll win more often than not.

And that, in essence, is how Cager can make the team. He needs to continue to be good at the things he’s known for and mask his weaknesses as much as possible.

And perhaps more importantly, he needs to prove that he could provide value on special teams — something he didn’t do much of in college aside from being used as an occasional blocker on kick returns.

Seeing as he’ll be competing with the likes of Vyncint Smith, Braxton Berrios, and fellow undrafted rookie George Campbell for a roster spot, playing special teams is all the more crucial.

Ultimately, Cager will have success in 2020 if he can impress the coaching staff enough with highlight-reel catches on offense to consider giving him a look. But if he really wants to secure his roster spot, excelling on special teams is a must.

NY Jets: 3 X-factors for the team on offense in 2020. Next

Cager is an intriguing prospect, and if he could stay healthy, he could become a quality red-zone threat in the Jets’ offense.

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