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Sam Cosmi should be moved to guard

At least for the near term

Washington Football Team v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

When Sam Cosmi was taken in the second round of the 2021 draft by Washington, hopes were high that the freakily athletic tackle out of Texas could be a long term, stalwart, book end in the pros.

And, in the nine games he played right tackle for Washington during the 2021 season, he conducted himself well enough that he was the unquestioned starter at right tackle going into the 2022 season, despite having missing nearly half the season with injury.

But during the 2022 season, Cosmi had some apparent challenges in pass protection, and then injured his thumb against the Cowboys in Week 4. He has been sidelined since having surgery in early October.

In his absence, veteran tackle Cornelius Lucas has stepped up to fill the void, and has played amazingly well, which isn’t all that big a surprise to some of us.

The interior line play appears to have improved a bit as well, with Tyler Larsen coming back to play center, and Andrew Norwell and Saahdiq Charles slowing pass rushers a bit as Wes Schweitzer rehabilitates from a concussion. But the reality is, the guard play, in particular, could still use improvement.

With Lucas playing well, some have begun to wonder aloud whether Cosmi should be deployed at guard - at least in the near term - rather than pushing Big Luc back to the bench and slotting Cosmi in at tackle again. Coach Rivera has even been asked the question by beat reporters.

Coming Out of College

In the lead up to the draft, Cosmi was profiled by a number of the scouting outlets. NFL Analyst Lance Zierlein noted, “Despite solid pass pro traits and good athleticism, he could find early trouble dealing with the diverse attacks of NFL edge rushers,” and provided his NFL comp as Miami’s Connor Williams.

Interestingly, Williams played his first four seasons with the Cowboys - who drafted him- as a guard, despite having played primarily left tackle in college at Texas (like Cosmi). Now with the Dolphins, Williams is actually getting time at center.

Cosmi, the former wrestler, boasted about his athletic versatility in the lead up to the draft:

“Being able, to you know, play multiple spots is very important, especially on the O-line. So me being able to play right and left if that’s tackle, if that’s guard, and being able to be comfortable in both positions. And stances is something that’s very, very important. So I think that’s very beneficial for any team that you know, would pick me up.”

Another imposing college tackle who struggled with the transition to the pros last year, Chicago’s Teven Jenkins, has already made the switch, and is quickly thriving:

Some have expressed concern that a shift to guard will stunt Cosmi’s development, or potentially consign him to the role for the rest of his career, but I disagree. You play the best group of players you have at the positions that put them in the best spot to have collective success. At this point, that probably looks something like a line of Leno, Schweitzer, Larsen, Cosmi, and Lucas.

For all the conversations about how poorly Washington’s offensive line is perceived to be playing, shifting Cosmi to guard, if he can excel there, could turn around the team’s offensive fortunes quickly. I’d like to see Rivera and Coach Matsko give it a shot.


Would you like to see Sam Cosmi deployed at guard as long as Cornelius Lucas continues to play well?

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    (584 votes)
  • 6%
    No, I think Cosmi is a better tackle.
    (46 votes)
  • 7%
    No, I think that would set back Cosmi’s development.
    (51 votes)
681 votes total Vote Now