In many recent mock drafts, Texas left tackle, Samuel Cosmi, is a 1st round pick. I've even seen some draftnicks say he should be a top 10 or top 15 selection. So, at first blush, it might seem like a waste of time to profile him as a potential Rams draft pick. On the other hand, several rankings and mock drafts make him a viable candidate at pick 57. In one recent mock, he's not drafted at all in the first 2 rounds. This draft is relatively deep with interesting tackle prospects, including Dillon Radunz and Spencer Brown, both of whom we looked at before. If those guys get drafted ahead of Cosmi, it would shuffle him down the board.
One reason I think Cosmi might make it to 57 is I see him as a nearly identical prospect to Ezra Cleveland, who was pick 58 overall last year to the Vikings. Lance Zierlein has these two players graded nearly identically. Going into the Combine, the consensus rankings had Cleveland as about a 4th to 5th round player. He shot up boards after his great Combine workout. If Cleveland lasted to 58, I could see a scenario where Cosmi is still available at 57.
Assuming he's there, should the Rams draft Cosmi to be their left tackle of the future?
6'5 7/8'' tall, 314 pounds, 33'' arms, 80 1/4'' wingspan, 10 1/4'' hands (pro day measurements)
Ezra Cleveland: 6'6'' tall, 311 pounds, 33 3/8'' arms, 80 3/8'' wingspan, 9' hands. The 2 players are nearly identical in height, weight and length.
Ezra: 4.93 sec (40 time), 1.73 sec (10 yard split), 30'' vert, 9'3'' broad, 4.46 sec (shuttle), 7.26 sec (3 cone), 30 bench reps.
Cosmi: 4.84 sec (40 time), 1.68 sec (10 yard split), 30'' vert, 9'9'' broad, 4.39 sec (shuttle), 7.35 sec (3 cone), 36 bench reps. Again, almost identical athletic measurements.
His scores beat the numbers posted by Dillon Radunz: 5.11 sec (40 time), 32'' vert, 9'4'' broad, 4.53 sec (shuttle), 7.27 sec (3 cone), 24 bench reps.
I did a double take when I saw Cosmi's short shuttle time. At first I thought it was a typo. Look at how it compares to this large collection of times for NFL tackles:
Nate Solder 4.34; Spencer Brown 4.34(pro day); Sam Cosmi 4.39(pro day); Joe Staley 4.40(pro day); Anthony Castonzo 4.40; Joe Noteboom 4.44; Eric Fisher 4.44; Ezra Cleveland 4.46; Jake Matthews 4.47; Kolton Miller 4.49; Taylor Lewan 4.49; Matt Light 4.49; Alex Barron 4.56; Tony Boselli 4.60; Trent Williams 4.63; Tyron Smith 4.68; Luke Joeckel 4.68; Tristan Wirfs 4.68; Jason Smith 4.69; Terron Armstead 4.72; Jake Long 4.73; Walter Jones 4.73; David Bakhtiari 4.74; Jason Peters 4.75; Taylor Decker 4.76; Russell Okung 4.80; Andrew Whitworth 4.83; Greg Robinson 4.86; Rob Havenstein 4.87; Joe Thomas 4.88; Ronnie Stanley 4.90.
Clearly, there is no direct correlation between a quick shuttle time and being a great LT. Joe Thomas did it slower than Hav. Noteboom isn't an All Pro. Jason Smith wasn't better than Walter Jones or Whitworth. Also, it is very suspicious that 3 of the top shuttle times on this list all happened at pro days and 2 of them happened in 2021. The scores for Spencer Brown and Sam Cosmi have to be taken with a large grain of salt, because they didn't do it at the Combine. This year, with no combine, suddenly everyone thinks they're Bo Jackson or Deion Sanders.
Aaron Donald at the combine, weighing 285 pounds, had a shuttle time of 4.39 seconds, exactly the same as Cosmi. I noted last year how Cam Akers had an oddly slow shuttle time of 4.42 seconds. He did it at 217 pounds, so Cosmi weighs nearly 100 pounds more and did the shuttle faster than Akers. Matthew Stafford did the shuttle in 4.47 seconds. Austin Corbett had a 4.50 sec shuttle, which is a very good time for a center. Alec Ogletree had a 4.39 sec shuttle. When a LT can do the shuttle as fast as an athletic LB, the quickest DT in the NFL and faster than the team's starting RB and QB, that is fast.
Redshirt Junior. 22 years old. Name pronounced "KOZ-mee". Son of Romanian immigrants who came to the US as teenagers. Soccer was first sport, was goalie, supposedly because he got too many red cards playing elsewhere. Moved from DL to OL sophomore year in high school. Had ankle injury that season. Only weighed 215 pounds at the time. Wears number 52, because he's a fan of Ray Lewis. Wrestler in HS, played RT final year of HS. 3 star recruit.
34 career starts. Starting RT in 2018. Starting LT in 2019. Started 8 games at LT in 2020, then opted out of the final 2 games of the regular season when Texas was eliminated from contention for the conference title. No known major injuries in college, had sprained ankle in 2019. Majored in human dimensions of organizations.
ESPN 57th overall, 7th OT (2nd round)
CBSSports 61st overall (late 2nd to 3rd round)
PFF 37th overall, 8th OT (2nd round)
Drafttek 19th overall (1st round)
The Draft Network 53rd overall (2nd round)
Sports Illustrated 3rd LT, (1st round)
Tony Pauline (PFN) 69th overall, 10th OT (late 2nd to 3rd round)
Not ranked on Daniel Jeremiah's top 50 board.
Lance Zierlein 6.26 grade. LZ says he moves line a TE in space and showed better play strength in 2020, but says he's not a drive blocker and is too mechanical. Compared him to Connor Williams (pick 50 in 2018, who is playing guard for the Dallas Cowboys.) Draft grade is just behind the 6.29 grade LZ gave to Ezra Cleveland last year. Also comparable to Lucas Niang 6.28 grade (late 3rd round pick), Tytus Howard 6.30 (23rd overall 2019), Kolton Miller 6.30 (15th overall pick 2018) and DJ Humphries 6.30 (24th overall pick 2015).
In a sorted list of LZ's draft profiles, Cosmi ranks 64th overall, just ahead of Dillon Radunz 68th and Spencer Brown 70th. He's just behind Creed Humphrey 61st and ahead of Josh Myers 76th.
In recent mock drafts, he's selected 21st overall (CBSSports), 31st (PFF), 29th (Chad Reuter), 31st (Sports Illustrated), 50th overall (Luke Easterling) and not in the first 2 rounds (Chris Trapasso). In Trapasso's mock, Radunz is pick 38, Creed Humphrey 48, Liam Eichenberg (ND tackle) 55th, Jackson Carman 56th, and the Rams take Quinn Meinerz at 57.
In interviews, he has mature attitude, professional approach and personality that should translate to NFL. Easy going and likeable. One of 7 team captains for Texas in 2020.
A raw, upside developmental project, both athletically and technically. Ball of clay, not a sculpture. Will get drafted more on potential and not on his current game.
Slender build. Looks more like a TE than a LT. Frame should allow him to continue to develop physically and either put on more weight or get stronger. Texas listed him at 285 pounds his redshirt season in 2017 and he's progressively added weight each subsequent year. Did it the right way with lean muscle and not bad weight. Still growing into his body, might not yet be at optimal playing weight.
Shows excellent ability to get his hips around and seal on zone run plays, very good hip fluidity. Traits to be a good wide zone run blocker.
Quickly slides inside after snap to plug inside gap on run play. Flexible to bend over on combo blocks against DT, then climb to 2nd level to LB. Flashes good change of direction ability, both in pass pro as well as on runs against 2nd level defenders.
Solid awareness to some twists. Was blocking DE, then showed good awareness to see DT on twist and blocked both defenders at same time. Great reaction to well timed slot CB blitz, steps out wide to cut it off, moves laterally quickly to sustain block, then finishes the block by burying the CB into the ground and lying on top of him.
Moves feet well to slow down bull rush. Nice job sinking hips, angling legs, able to stand up some bull rushers and stop movement. If he can get his feet under him, has decent functional ability to anchor, doesn't get knocked to ground or put on skates.
Athleticism to recover and push pass rushers past the back of the pocket.
Chops down or pulls down on arms of defenders to knock them off balance or to the ground.
Generally patient in pass set, not baited by fakes by DE.
Texas didn't call many screen passes, but he looked athletic pulling out wide to the left on a run and heading upfield, so he should be good as a blocker on screens.
Had some very good plays against K'Lavon Chaisson (20th overall pick in 2020) in both high school playoff game and when he played against LSU in 2019.
Caught TD pass on trick play.
Has started as both a RT and at LT in his football career. Can play on both sides of the line, which is very useful versatility.
Elite athleticism. Very rare to be able to find a prospect his size with such a high level of athleticism, especially since he might even have the potential to get even bigger and stronger in the future.
I like his personality and intangibles. Wasn't a top recruit, had to work to make himself into good player. Seems like a player who will learn from the veterans ahead of him, be a sponge and not come in thinking he knows everything. If you're going to draft a player who is raw and needs coaching, their work ethic and ability to learn are important considerations.
His technique is a mess. College spread offenses are hampering offensive lineman development in the NFL. I think Cosmi will require time and patience before he's going to be ready to play.
In their scheme, it looks like he was coached to use spread system style vertical pass sets where the OT essentially backpedals backwards from the LOS. When he does use more of a traditional vertical set, he's not able to kick slide effectively. Spacing of steps not right. Sometimes heels click. False steps not gaining any depth. Feet can end up way too wide or too narrow and close together. OLB converts speed to power, then with one hand to chest of LT, lifts him off the ground, sends him flying backwards to the QB, discards the LT and hits the QB. No ability to anchor once he loses his base. Easily driven back into the QB when he can't get his feet organized in time, gets put on roller skates.
Ends up in poor body positions as he engages the DE on pass blocks. Has a bad habit of leaning way too far forward, with his head in front of his toes, his back angle bending over instead of being flat. His left leg becomes straight, his feet not set to deal with power moves or able to slide laterally. Defenders anticipate him lunging and swim over the top or knock his hands down and go around the outside. OLB beats him cleanly to the outside and he's very lucky the RB was there. The play results in long TD pass, but without the RB it would have been a sack fumble instead of a TD.
Weakly catches pass rushers, doesn't punch. Weak hand placements. His right hand tends to end up gently on the inside rib of the DE, below the armpit. His left hand tends to go outside and he'll grab the numbers on the outside shoulder of the DE's jersey. Sometimes, he brings his hands up from low near his waist, spread out wide.
His right arm (the inside hand) becomes weak and unable to control the inside gap. The DE can push it into his body and execute a pass rush move or simply attack his inside shoulder and gain leverage with a power move. His left arm (the outside hand) can frequently be knocked off, because it isn't within the frame of the defender. The DE's right hand can simply push up or swipe sideways and the LT's grip isn't strong enough to stay attached. DE's club swim move against LT's inside shoulder cleanly wins very quickly to the inside, LT's inside hand too weak and passive to stop it. Repeatedly lost to this move.
Very vulnerable to inside counter moves. I can't tell if it is an athletic limitation and he can't slide his feet sideways quickly enough or just the technique he was taught, but he has to open up way early (about 4 yards from the LOS) and turn his shoulders perpendicular to the line, then cross over with his feet to try to protect the edge. OLB with club move knocked him to the ground as he was in cross over phase. DE throws him off balance to the outside, then counters inside and wins. Spins, swim moves, gets smoked badly by variety of inside counters.
DE attacks him outside, then as LT tries to recover, DE throws him off balance and LT falls to ground on all fours, both palms on the ground.
Struggles to prevent edge rushers from turning the corner. Not enough lateral movement to cut them off, has to try to recover with his back to the LOS. Gives up opportunities for sack fumbles. Catches smaller OLBs instead of shoving them out of the rush lane or knocking them to the ground. DE gets around the outside and crashes into the lower left leg of the QB in a dangerous manner, creating risk for serious injury to QB.
Repeatedly beaten by push pull moves. Passively catches on both run and pass blocks, then leans forward into the block, making him vulnerable to losing his balance. Gets thrown to the ground when defenders rip his arms down. Even a smaller defender can beat him with a push pull move, throwing him off and discarding him. Habit of ducking forward into blocks is a big problem. Faceplants on pass block when OLB goes around him. On the play side of wide zone run, he leans too far over his toes and the DE pulls him down to the ground. Buries his facemask into the chest of the DE and awkwardly hugs him on a pass block.
Lacks aggression. Passive, finesse type of blocker. Doesn't play to whistle. Became bystander, watching his QB run instead of looking for work, turning around and blocking LB. Sees LB blitz coming, but just gently catches the LB to protect the inside gap, doesn't punish the LB, push him or knock him down. LG passes off a DT to him and instead of greeting the DT with power, he weakly catches the DT. Second DT on a twist, the LT doesn't step up and stone him, just weakly catches half of the DT, allowing the DT to get his pads under the LT, gain superior leverage and win to the inside. On inside run play, DT explodes into his chest and drives him into the backfield. Relaxes, allowing DE to crease inside of him and pressure the QB on a rollout pass. Passive at 2nd level on LBs, not physical on blocks against them. Has chance to bury defender on double team block on draw play, but his pads are too high, no hip snap, no knee bend, not enough power and movement.
The DTs twist on a run play. The LT ducks his head into the block and tries to catch the DT with weak hand placements, low and to the side. The DT, dips his outside shoulder to the inside, then gets the elbow of his outside arm into the ribs of the LT, causing the LT to stumble off balance and fall off of the block.
Doesn't finish blocks or control them. Not able to sustain blocks. As seal blocker, allows his guy to disengage and pursue the RB from the backside. Doesn't slide his feet sideways to protect blocking angle and sustain run blocks. Overreacts when the defender tries to backdoor the run, he gets out of position and can't stay attached when they change directions and go back towards the RB over the top of the block. Defenders stack and shed or spin off of the block too easily and quickly. Gives up secondary pass rushes, not able to lock up the DE. Too often allows his guy to get back into the action instead of cancelling them out and removing them from the play. Inability to sustain led to QB getting hit from behind on a running play.
Poor in short yardage situations. No lower leg drive, struggles to bend and maintain low pad level, insufficient play strength to fire out of stance after snap. Got creased on run near GL. Knocked sideways at LOS near GL, unable to drive the defender backwards. Short 4th down, lunges into DE, who violently throws him to the side and sheds the block.
Takes some poor angles at 2nd level against LBs. Can't find proper run block angle, tends to go too far upfield and overrun the block.
Poor blocker on the backside of wide zone runs. Not quick enough out of his stance to step laterally to cut off penetration, not enough aggression and strength to sustain, allowing DE to shove him off, disengage and tackle the RB. Diagonal climb on backside of zone run, lunges too early, unable to get enough power into shove, allowing the LB to continue to flow laterally towards the RB. Ended up blocking nobody on backside of zone, didn't turn around to pick up the DE.
No torque and core strength on kick out blocks. DEs are able to shed him, pull him down or throw him off balance and disengage.
Not a good combo blocker. Chases the DT, late or misses the LB. Instantly shed by LB on combo. Pivotal 3rd&2 play in 4th quarter against Iowa State, his final collegiate game, with conference title game spot on the line, Texas is up by 4 points. At the point of attack, he doesn't climb quickly enough to the LB. The QB gets stopped short and Texas fails to convert on 4th&1. Iowa State goes on to win the game with a late TD and advances to the conference championship game.
Not aware to loop, too focused blocking the LB instead of seeing that the DT is coming around and has gotten past the LG. Twist as DE goes inside and LB looks around to the outside, the LT is caught bending forward and can't switch off quickly enough onto the LB. Eyes stuck on DE, not aware to CB blitz, allows QB to be pressured and flushed. Late shift in alignment by defense with run blitz and he struggles to adjust to it. Caught by surprise by T/E twist and makes a complete mess of it. Completely oblivious to looper, too focused on the DE.
Zone blocking on the backside of a read option play, his eyes aren't looking at the LB and when the LB attacks the QB, he's not able to react in time to make the block. On run play near GL, with condensed formation, he appeared to be confused about which defender he was supposed to block.
As helper, didn't stay in phase with his LG and the TE, needed to take a step backwards, then didn't scan quickly, causing him to be late to help the LG, allowing the DT to get past his inside shoulder.
Not fluid when he has to pull around the back of other linemen.
Wrestling background doesn't show up. Slow hand speed, balance issues, doesn't replace hands to gain better leverage or win hand fights.
On field processing issues could cause him to initially struggle keeping up with the play speed and complexity of the NFL game. Mentally, you need to be a step ahead of what is happening, otherwise you won't "play fast" even if you can run fast. As GI Joe would say, knowing is half the battle.
His arms are a hair short to play LT. Nate Solder has 35.5'' arms. Anthony Castonzo has 34.5'' arms. Teams will have to debate whether to keep him at LT, move him back over to RT or maybe slide him inside and be an athletic guard, like Connor Williams, who also has 33 inch arms, same length as Cosmi's arms.
Pro Comparison and Grade
Ezra Cleveland (2nd round, 58th overall, Vikings, Boise State.) 5th round.
Cosmi's strengths and weaknesses and his athleticism are all very similar to the traits for Ezra Cleveland. I did not like Cleveland at all last year, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that I don't have a high grade on Cosmi.
We haven't seen Cleveland play tackle in the NFL yet. He played guard last year. In their zone blocking scheme, he did some good things in the run game, but he also was one of the worst pass blocking guards in the NFL. It is way too early to tell how he'll turn out and it is unclear when he'll get a shot at being the starting LT for the Vikings.
When I profiled Joe Noteboom, long before the Rams drafted him, I believe I gave him a 4th round grade. I said that he was right on the border between being considered a developmental LT and being drafted more as a swing backup OT. Boomer played both RT and LT. He lacked aggression and strength as a run blocker. Three years into his NFL career, he's exactly the player I thought he was going to be. We saw glimpses last season when he was filling in for Whitworth that maybe he could become a good starting LT. On the other hand, we've also seen signs that maybe he won't be more than just a solid, versatile backup or that maybe he could be worth a look at RT instead. There have been several examples of where his run blocking deficiencies have hampered the run game for the Rams.
If you compare Boomer's college tape, I'd argue it stacks up well compared to the tapes for Cleveland and Cosmi. That's why I didn't grade either of those players higher. Noteboom was smoother and better in his pass sets than Cosmi, he didn't have all of these balance problems and footwork issues. You could get him with a bull rush at times, but Cosmi sometimes is worse. Boom isn't a good run blocker, but Cosmi might be worse. Boom is no slouch as an athlete. He ran 4.96 sec in the 40, he did 27 bench reps. He's a former hockey player. He has 34 3/8'' arms, longer than Cosmi's arms. He has an 83.5'' wingspan, wider than Cosmi's.
Noteboom was drafted towards the end of the 3rd round at slot 89. If the Rams feel like they need to plan to replace both Whit and Hav, then it can make sense to draft another tackle this year. It is also conceivable that Boom won't stick around, because he's entering the final year of his rookie contract. But, I don't think the Rams should try to force that pick early unless the prospect warrants being drafted high.
Since the Rams don't have a 1st round pick, if they are looking for a viable candidate at LT, it is likely going to be a "project" player, someone other teams felt was too risky to draft high. Terron Armstead was a raw, developmental project who went to a small college. He had technique issues, but he was aggressive, powerful and ultra athletic on the field, you could see the potential. He was a 3rd round pick. I see Cosmi as a high ceiling and low floor prospect, which is why I think there's a chance he'll stay on the board long enough for the Rams to have a shot at drafting him.
Call me crazy, but I like offensive linemen who are physical and knock defenders to the ground. What a concept, right? I also like WR who can catch the ball and kickers who can kick the ball between the uprights. Cosmi is a great athlete, but I'm not willing to gamble a 2nd round pick on him to be the team's franchise LT.