We all knew offensive tackle was a BIG need heading into the 2021 NFL Draft for Washington. Many draft pundits listed it as our TOP need. I myself, had it right up there next to linebacker and quarterback. Cornelius Lucas, who will be 30 when the season starts, and who is under contract through 2021, played well at the end of the season, but he’s not the future at the position by any stretch of the imagination, and in reality, is probably best suited to be the team’s swing tackle in 2021. The experiment that was Geron Christian ended poorly yet again, and he may find himself off the roster all together due to ineffective play. Being that the 2021 offensive tackle class was so deep in rounds one and two, it was almost a guarantee that Rivera and Mayhew would go to the well early at the position.
...and go to the well they indeed did, landing Samuel Cosmi at pick 51!
Back in October 2020, I went on on my social media platform to proclaim my love for the Texas junior left tackle. At that time, I felt, with a solid season, he would be one of the top offensive tackles taken in the 2021 NFL Draft, and assuming Washington would have tackle high on their board come the following April, he was immediate inserted near the top of my early draft projections.
Cosmi’s 2020 season was cut short after he opted out of Texas’ final two regular season games against Kansas State and Kansas, as he chose to focus on the NFL draft and not risk injury. Prior to that, Cosmi started 34 consecutive games for the Longhorns at right and left tackle respectively.
Here is his statement declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft:
“First and foremost, I want to thank God for my journey here at The University of Texas. It’s been an amazing experience and a true blessing. It was an extremely difficult decision, but after talking with my family, I feel that it’s in my best interest to forgo the remainder of the season. My goal is to prepare for the NFL Draft and work towards that dream of mine. I want to thank everyone at the University, especially Coach Herman, Coach Hand and Coach McKnight, and all who have had a part in my journey. I wouldn’t be here and have had the success I’ve had if it weren’t for them. Coming in as a young skinny lineman who started out on the scout team and ending up where I am now is a true testament to God, this program, and everyone who has helped me become the man I am today. I’m so incredibly grateful for the support of my teammates. I love them all and will be forever thankful for them. The bonds we’ve created go way beyond football and will last a lifetime. Most of all, I want to thank my family, who have been my biggest supporters. They’ve been my rock through it all. I’m so blessed to have them in my life. I am planning on finishing my degree this semester, as well as preparing for the draft, and I’ll be supporting the guys as they finish the season. Thank you to all of Longhorn Nation. I’m going to bleed Burnt Orange for the rest of my life! Hook ‘em!”
Now, given the pandemic and the standing situation in college football during 2020, you can’t really fault Cosmi for this decision, yet entering 2021, some evaluators felt his love of the game and character were a bit in question. Some may say Cosmi slipped a bit, while others felt he was drafted right where he should have been.
However you chose to view his decision takes nothing away from the player the Washington Football Team is getting with the 51st overall pick!
Cosmi is one of the best athletes on the offensive line in this draft class. Many will say he is THE best. At 6’6” 314 pounds, he posted a 4.84 40, jumped nearly 10 feet in the board, and recorded a 30” vertical, while posting 36 reps at 225 on the bench. The one physical knock on him is he has only 33’ arms(you can see me LOL at this complaint).
In the run game, Cosmi is know to be a mauler with a nasty streak who FINISHES! Once he gets his hands on a defender, it’s over.
Samuel Cosmi was a three-year starter at Texas, allowed 8 pressures in 368 snaps last year, and he's a nasty finisher in the run game. pic.twitter.com/F1bsZJZ0EN— Nick Akridge (@PFF_NickAkridge) May 1, 2021
Here you see a bit of NASTY, and his ability to finish, in pass protection!
Ron Rivera on pick Samuel Cosmi:— Wizskins (@Itswizskins) May 1, 2021
"We're gonna put him out at left tackle and see how he does?"
LT Samuel Cosmi with an impressive here. Cosmi is 6’6, 314 lbs. He is highly experienced, fundamentally sound, and he moves well for his size. Something else to note: He didn’t miss a single snap in his three years of playing time at Texas. #HookEm pic.twitter.com/e7MtWCMbdY— Pancaked (@PancakedTweets) April 26, 2021
I feel his biggest strength, but also biggest area for improvement, is his quick feet in pass protection. Sometimes when you get an athlete like Cosmi, they tend to rely too much on pure athletic traits, and their technique suffers. I feel this is the exact trap Cosmi fell into at Texas. There were times on film where he would take false steps almost because he felt he could get away with it. That won’t be the case in the NFL. He’s going to need to be much more fundamentally sound when it comes to footwork and hand placement against the NFL’s best EDGE rushers.
I mentioned his hands, and while they are some of the heaviest in this class, he sometimes fails to sit back in his stance over his hips and fire those hands in conjunction with his kick-slide. He also tends to misplace those hands on Pec/Bi when dealing with a defender who is good at converting speed to power.
The good thing is, all these fundamental issues are easily corrected with solid coaching, and Washington has an outstanding teacher in John Matsko. One thing you can’t teach is size and athleticism - and Matsko has an unmolded piece of clay here with Cosmi.
Just for fun though - imagine this play in Scott Turners offense! In all seriousness, this does show the type of athlete Washington is getting in Cosmi!
This receiving TD from new WFT OL Samuel Cosmi at Texas is wildly impressive.— Ryan Homler (@RHomler) May 1, 2021
This was not a 2-yard score, he got the ball and showed some vision and that sneaky speed. pic.twitter.com/RSoFCeGYQd
And finally, WHO DOESN’T LOVE THIS!!!
Overall, I think this was a tremendous pick for Washington in round two, and a classic example of very good value meeting a massive need! I hope Cosmi goes on to see three contracts here in DC as a cornerstone offensive tackle, and I feel confident he has the skill-set to do just that!