Samuel Cosmi 2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report
An undoubtedly athletic tackle prospect, we present Samuel Cosmi’s 2021 NFL Draft scouting report and look at where the Texas Longhorn is likely to be drafted in April’s NFL showcase event.
NFL Draft Profile
Samuel Cosmi - OT, Texas
Height – 6’7”
Weight – 309lbs
Class – Redshirt Junior
Hometown – Humble, Texas
After initially being committed to Houston as a 3-Star recruit, Cosmi flipped to Texas after Tom Herman left the Cougars for the Longhorns. After being redshirted for the 2017 season, Cosmi quickly claimed the starting right tackle spot early in the 2018 season and his play earned him Freshman All-American Honours.
Switching to left tackle in 2019 and starting all 13 games, the recognition kept on coming and he was named to the Big-12 Second Team. Cosmi even got himself on the scoresheet, running in a 12-yard touchdown against West Virginia.
Cosmi was once again the Longhorns left tackle at the start of the 2020 season but after eight games, and Texas out of contention for a conference title, he opted out to prepare for the draft. This was after another personally successful season for Cosmi as he was named to the Big-12 First Team.
At 6’7” and a touch over 300lbs, Cosmi is a tall, lean lineman with long reach that utilises his quick foot speed and athleticism to his advantage. In the running game, zone blocks and reach blocks are made to look effortless and Cosmi looks comfortable with those assignments.
He has had success at the second level varying his speed to adjust to moving targets. His athleticism coupled with good awareness when at the second level is no better highlighted than the 2020 game against Iowa State. As lead blocker for Sam Ehlinger, Cosmi’s burst allowed him to get into space quickly, giving him the benefit of being able to locate the biggest threat then accelerate again to seal the lane for a touchdown.
He is not a true people mover, but he can clear down the line, he is more likely to create lanes for his backs by sealing off defenders.
In pass protection, Cosmi aims high and wide on the shoulders – think of the ‘Hug’ technique that tackles such as David Bakhtiari employ. When successful this shuts down the edge rusher by limiting the counter moves available and increases the cries of ‘HOLDING!’ by rival fans.
When a defender gains control of his chest, he also utilises a vicious snatch counter that would typically end with a highlight reel pancake. His foot speed also helps with recovery in pass protection when he is not able to mirror, he can typically run the defender round the top of the arc.
Whilst he has the physical tools that teams will value at tackle, the inconsistency of technique should worry prospective GMs. In the run game, he rarely gets push against defensive linemen when heads up.
At 6’7” he is guilty of playing too high and will lower his helmet instead of playing with proper leverage. He can be slow to engage his hands and give up control of his chest, he then needs to rely on his superior arm length to gain some level of control.
Although there are instances of him locating and engaging targets successfully at the second level, there are plenty of examples of not being able to sustain the block. He also has a tendency of staying too long on the initial block before peeling off to a linebacker on his combo blocks.
The footwork in pass protection needs major improvement. The depth on his kick slide is inconsistent, often non-existent and he reverts to a back-pedal far too often. When back pedalling he can carry his weight over his heels, making his lateral movement to counter inside twists much more laboured than his athleticism would suggest.
He can pick up the twist but often relies on riding the defender through the pocket rather than stonewalling at the line of scrimmage. With poor kick-slide depth, he has to flip hips and go into recovery mode early in the reps. I would want to see him mirror the defender deeper into his pass on a much more consistent basis.
The slow hands are also in evidence in pass protection as Cosmi consistently gives up control of his chest. Once the defender is inside his frame, his lean body paired with high leverage means he often has to engage his anchor, which is just about adequate against the competition faced so far.
There has been ample opportunity to use his effective snatch counter as his anchor slowly stops the push, but it is seen far too rarely. With such a valuable weapon in his arsenal it is strange not to see it utilised much more often.
There is no doubt that Cosmi has been an effective blocker at the College level and he is a frustrating evaluation. He has shown in flashes everything that you want to see from your NFL tackle, but the issue is getting it consistently.
A highlight reel of Cosmi would look exceptional but the lapses in technique are too numerous and a cause for concern. Despite the flaws in technique which are so evident on tape, the fact that he wins reps so often is testament to his natural athleticism.
His arm length allows him to achieve stalemates when he loses the battle to engage first, and his footspeed allows to recover from inconsistent depth in pass protection. At the NFL level, these athletic traits will not be enough in isolation without the required improvements in technique and consistency.
Cosmi’s performance against LSU, particularly K’Lavon Chaisson, is cited as an example of his ability to excel in pass protection. In my eyes, Chaisson was an ideal opponent for Cosmi as the LSU edge rusher was a lightweight, unrefined speed rusher often without a Plan B. Cosmi’s anchor was adequate against the lighter Chaisson even when he gave up his chest, whilst his footspeed was sufficient to not be beaten to his outside shoulder.
Cosmi would be an attractive prospect for a team with a zone blocking run scheme with an entrenched starter where he would not be expected to play in year one. If he can put all the pieces of the puzzle together then Cosmi could well be a long-term starter. However, I would be wary that there are too many areas that require improvement for him to be taken on day one of the draft in a deep offensive tackle class. He also lacks the positional versatility of some of the other prospects vying for selection.
2021 NFL Draft Projection
Day 2 Pick
Samuel Cosmi Film Room
Texas vs Iowa State - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIHO6EAfArc
Texas vs Baylor - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6RcNAfxfzk&t=2515s
Texas vs Oklahoma State - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Psb8lL5srjw
Texas vs Oklahoma - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jY8ni7HzrS0
Texas vs LSU - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5K5pwITkqo