One of the biggest challenges confronting every NFL team is finding enough offensive linemen. Not just finding enough linemen to give the team reliable depth in case of injury or even equipment malfunction, but finding five reliable starters.
It’s a complex problem with issues in both supply and demand, and teams will always search high and low for players who can be starting NFL caliber linemen. The trick is often finding players who might not be starters yet but can be with some work.
Texas offensive tackle Samuel Cosmi is far from an unknown, under-the-radar prospect. However, there is some question where he fits in an NFL offensive line. He has experience on both ends of the line and the athletic tools to be an every-down starter on the edge, but he also needs some development to unlock his full potential.
Prospect: Samuel Cosmi
Games Played: 35 (career), 8 (2020)
Best: Length, quickness, lateral agility, overall athleticism, versatility
Projection: Swing tackle with eventual starting upside.
University of Texas offensive lineman Samuel Cosmi has good length, size, quickness and lateral agility, and overall athleticism to play the offensive position at the NFL level. Cosmi is an experienced lineman, starting 34 of 35 games at offensive tackle, aligning at both left tackle (21 games) and right tackle (14 games) for Texas.
Cosmi has solid lower body flexibility settling into a compact stance and maintaining good knee bend, as well as hip and pad level, throughout the play. He is an easy mover along the line of scrimmage, able to hit landmarks and get into position, even against speed rushers. Cosmi is a capable puller who is able to get, and stay, ahead of the play behind the line of scrimmage. He also appears comfortable working to the second level and playing in space.
Cosmi is a solid pass protector and run blocker. He mirrors defenders well in pass protection, while playing with a solid base and enough play strength to absorb and re-anchor against power rushes. He is also able to create movement along the line of scrimmage as a run blocker, both in man-gap schemes and zone blocking schemes.
Cosmi still has development to do at the NFL level, despite his collegiate experience. He rarely used a kick-slide in the tape viewed, which could lead to him being overwhelmed by NFL caliber defensive linemen. Cosmi takes discrete shuffling steps on his pass sets, rather than a more fluid kick-slide, which can lead to lunging if defenders meet him mid-step. He also doesn’t wide the pocket much, as he needs to take small steps to avoid being caught off-balance. And while play strength isn’t a weakness of Cosmi’s game, he has the frame to add muscle mass without compromising his athleticism.
Overall Grade: 7.7 - This prospect has the upside to start but will need technical development.
Samuel Cosmi has the athletic tools to be a starting offensive tackle at the NFL level, but will likely need to start his career as a reserve swing tackle.
Cosmi is a solid athlete and an easy mover, both along the line of scrimmage and in space. However, his footwork could be a liability to be exploited by NFL pass rushers. The transition from college to the NFL is tough for any rookie offensive lineman, but doing so without a solid foundation could put him in a hole to start his career.
That being said, Cosmi has the athletic tools to be a starter with a year of development with NFL coaching and strength and conditioning programs. Once harnessed, his athleticism and easy movement skills should allow him to play on the edge against most NFL pass rushers and he should be able to execute most blocking schemes. Likewise, his experience at both left and right tackle should provide extra value for his future team. Cosmi should be able to back up both tackle spots right away and eventually slot in wherever he is needed once ready to start.