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.
Samuel Cosmi was drafted with pick 51 of round 2 in the 2021 draft class. He scored a 9.99 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 2 out of 1143 OT from 1987 to 2021. https://t.co/UdaHnm9N0s #RAS #WFT pic.twitter.com/uri2cGjMP6— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) May 1, 2021
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.
Who is the next up & coming⭐️for the #Commanders?— Nathan Coleman (@CommandersStats) May 19, 2022
For me its Sam Cosmi:
✅3rd best Run Block Win Rate among all NFL Tackles
✅5th Highest PFF Overall Grade(74.9) for a rookie Tackle since 2017
✅Ranked 11th overall in PFF Run Blocking Grade #HTTC
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.
Highest OT run block win rate % in the NFL.— Ryan Fowler (@_RyanFowler_) October 25, 2022
1. Cornelius Lucas (84%)
He's taken advantage of an opportunity and been a flat out stud in the ground game.
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.
Asked Rivera about whether the coaches would consider moving Sam Cosmi to guard whenever he returns, with Cornelius Lucas remaining at RT. He seemed open to the possibility, but TBD. Cosmi's injured thumb among the variables. Cosmi "limited" today after sitting out last 2 games.— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) October 19, 2022
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:
Bears G Teven Jenkins now the eighth-highest graded G in the NFL per PFF with a 76.7 overall grade— Brad Spielberger, Esq. (@PFF_Brad) October 25, 2022
Certainly still some room for improvement in pass protection, but his 80.1 run blocking grade is 5th
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
No, I think Cosmi is a better tackle.
No, I think that would set back Cosmi’s development.