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2021 NFL Draft profile: Texas Sam Cosmi

The former three-star prospect overachieved on the Forty Acres, but there are questions about his technique and physicality.

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

When Tom Herman arrived on the Forty Acres and made Humble Atascosita offensive tackle Sam Cosmi one of his first additions to the 2017 Texas Longhorns recruiting class after holding a commitment from Cosmi with the Houston Cougars, the expectations for Cosmi were low.

The athleticism on tape was clear, but Cosmi was only 260 pounds and ranked well outside the top 1,100 prospects nationally in the 247Sports Composite rankings. TCU and Memphis were his only other reported offers.

As Cosmi prepares for the 2021 NFL Draft after leaving Texas following his redshirt junior season, his trajectory has been remarkable.

The 6’6, 314-pounder started drawing buzz towards the end of his redshirt freshman season and quickly earned a starting role at right tackle during the 2018 season and went on to start 34 of his 35 games in burnt orange and white, taking over as the left tackle in 2019.

In 2018, Cosmi was a freshman All-American. In 2019, he was a first-team selection for PFF’s Big 12 Team of the Year and caught a touchdown pass on a trick play against West Virginia. In 2020, he was a first-team All-Big 12 honoree and a second-team All-America selection by CBS Sports/247Sports.

At the Texas Pro Day, Cosmi confirmed his incredible athleticism by running a 4.84 40-yard dash and confirmed his strength with 36 reps on the bench press. He put on weight the right way and remains lean, with draft analysts noting that he looks like a big tight end. He’s flexible and moves well in space.

But the draft process hasn’t necessarily been overly kind towards Cosmi — his technique in pass protection is often regarded as inconsistent and he’s not known for creating displacement in the running game or regularly de-cleating opponents. This scouting report is particularly harsh in those regards, while this Twitter thread details Cosmi’s strengths and weaknesses well.

The lack of ideal development for Cosmi after showing so much promise after he got into the field at Texas has dropped the draft projections for him, as he’ll likely fall out of the first round, thought to be a potential landing spot for him earlier in his career. There’s a chance he might not hear his name called until the third round, but as always in the NFL Draft, it only takes one organization falling in love with him to render those projections moot.

In the context of Texas recruiting and development at the offensive line position over the last decade, however, Cosmi is an unquestioned success story — he’ll become just the second Longhorns offensive lineman drafted since Tony Hills in 2008 (Connor Williams in 2018 at No. 50) and could become the highest-drafted offensive lineman since Justin Blalock went No. 39 in 2007.