Texas Football: Who Will be the Longhorns' Next First-Round Draft Pick?

Chris Dukes

With the Longhorns' high level of recruiting every year and the facilities at the program's disposal, it's a little staggering to think the team hasn't produced a first-round draft pick since 2015's Malcom Brown. 

Despite producing several potential sleeper hits, this year's Longhorn NFL Draft class isn't likely to break that streak, but 2021 could very well mark the end of the current drought. 

Here's a look at some of the candidates to break through the team's current drought. 

Sam Ehlinger, quarterback 

Ehlinger enters the 2020 season as the active leader in most passing statistics. He completed 65.2 percent of his passes for  3,663 yards and 32 touchdowns to just 10 interceptions. 

The will-be senior's best assets might be his intelligence and toughness. He played through most of last season with a nagging rib injury and showed little sign of it during the year. His ability to dissect a defense makes him an asset to any NFL team. 

Still, Ehlinger would likely need a monster senior season to move up to a first-round pick. The 2021 quarterback class is likely to include Trevor Lawerence and Justin Fields next year, two quarterback prospects that have scouts drooling. However, we've seen big seasons spike a player's draft stock in the past. Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield and LSU's Joe Burrow both rocketed up draft boards in their final seasons of college. 

 Caden Sterns, safety 

Sterns was one of the top recruits in the country when he came out of high school and a Freshman All American during his first season on the Forty Acres. 

An injury derailed much of his sophomore season, but Sterns has everything an NFL team is looking for in a free safety. He's rangy, hits hard and makes an excellent break once the ball is in the air. 

If he stays healthy through the 2020 season there's a good chance he not only makes the decision to go pro but goes in the first round to continue the Longhorns' "DBU" tradition.

Samuel Cosmi, offensive tackle 

Cosmi is already at or near the top of the list of left tackles in most NFL Draft projections. After deciding to return to school for at least one more season, most believe that Cosmi is looking at a high draft position and a potentially big paycheck in the 2021 draft. 

Big, strong and agile, Cosmi has the potential to be the prototypical anchor left tackle at the next level and lead an offensive line for years to come. It's not only Cosmi's skill, but the fact he plays a position of need that puts him on top of this list. Left tackles are always in demand. 

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Comments (1)
No. 1-1

Cosmi is the best bet. Left tackles are always a premium pick. Ehlinger is all the above but is not a first rounder. Not sure about Sterns.

Longhorns in the pros