Next up in the Unpacking a Future Packers countdown is Samuel Cosmi. The Texas offensive tackle checks in at number 51 in the countdown.
The 2021 NFL Draft boasts a talented offensive tackle group. Samuel Cosmi, a 34-game starter at tackle for the Texas Longhorns is a fringe first-round prospect and has an opportunity to become the first Longhorns offensive player to get selected in the first round since Vince Young was drafted third overall in the 2006 NFL Draft.
“A durable player, Cosmi has proved to be a reliable option for the Longhorns at either tackle position,” Zack Patraw, the President of NFL Draft Bible said. “Entering his final season at Texas, the power and strength were evident in his game. What was starting to improve throughout the course of the 2020 season was his fluidity and his ability to work to the second level without a hitch.
He has continued to add good weight to his frame, which is the prototypical frame you look for in a blindside blocker. While there are things he needs to work on, such as his hand technique and his footwork, he has plenty of upside to develop into a starting-caliber left tackle in the NFL.”
It’s easy to mistake Cosmi for a tight end. He’s very athletic and moves like a tight end. That athleticism really helps him shine as a run blocker. He’s able to easily climb to the second level and drive linebackers into the ground.
“This has become one of Cosmi’s better traits,” Patraw said. “He does a great job sealing the edge on outside runs and not allowing defenders to beat him with their first or second move. He has improved his athletic ability and has shown he can be a smooth mover making his way up to the second level. Cosmi’s strength and power shine when he’s asked to block in the running game.
The greatest strength of Cosmi’s game would be the overall power he can generate from his strong lower-half and his well-built frame. As he continues to develop his physicality and when he gets into an NFL weight room, there is little doubt that he has the potential to be one of the more powerful offensive linemen in the NFL.”
According to Pro Football Focus, Cosmi has given up three sacks the last two seasons. He has good length. The battle tested offensive tackle has decent footwork to mirror pass rushers and he’s fluid in his movement.
“There is a lot of potential for Cosmi to become a premier pass blocker in the NFL but this isn’t something I was generally high on, which is a large part of why he’s not as high in my rankings as others,” Patraw said. Cosmi has improved athletically from 2019 to 2020 but there are still aspects in the pass blocking game that he struggles with.
He can be a step late out of his stance and can be quickly put into recovery mode as he tries to beat defenders around the arch. His footwork needs to be cleaned up and he can often try and rely on his strength and power rather than his technique. There are instances where he exposes his chest and can play with a high pad level. Part of the reason he had the few number of sacks given up was because of how athletic his quarterback was and how he could escape the pocket.”
Fit with the Packers
The Green Bay Packers had one of the best offensive lines in football this past season. That offensive line could look dramatically different in 2021-2022.
Left tackle David Bakhtiari could miss the start of the season due to a leg injury. Starting center, Corey Linsley is likely to sign elsewhere in free agency. Rick Wagner was recently cut. Elgton Jenkins can play anywhere along the line, so it’s unclear where he’ll line up to start week one of the season. Billy Turner can play guard or tackle. Lucas Patrick could play guard or center.
With so much uncertainty, it’s a safe bet that Packers general manager, Brian Gutekunst will address the offensive line early in the 2021 NFL Draft.
With his athletic skill set and upside, Cosmi is a player that Gutekunst could target with the 29th pick. The Packers need to find their long-term starter at right tackle.
With his ability as a run-blocker and upside in pass protection, Cosmi could be a plug-and-play starter at right tackle.
“I’m drafting Cosmi based on his potential and his upside,” Patraw said. “The fact that he has played both the left side and right side of the offensive line is intriguing to me as well.
If my team is a team like the Tennessee Titans that generates a lot of positive plays from the running game, Cosmi would be my pick at the end of the first round. If I’m a team that relies on my tackles to pass block consistently and keep the pocket clean, I’m looking at him towards the second round in hopes I can develop him into a strong pass blocker but he likely won’t be available there.
This could also be a case where he could kick inside to guard with how strong of a run blocker he is. There is a lot you can do with him and the fact that you can move him around the offensive line and the type of strength and power he brings to the trenches would make me want to pull the trigger on him.”
If Cosmi is the guy Gutekunst selects with the 29th pick the Packers offensive line when Bakhtiari returns from his leg injury could look like this:
Bakhtiari, Jenkins, Patrick, Turner, Cosmi. That’s a dominant left side of the line with a young right tackle that has a high ceiling.
With Aaron Rodgers nearing the end of his career, Gutekunst needs to invest in the offensive line early to protect the franchise. If Teven Jenkins, Jalen Mayfield, Alex Leatherwood, etc. are all off the board, Cosmi could be a target for Green Bay’s general manager.