Heading into the 2020 season, Texas Longhorns offensive tackle Samuel Cosmi was projected as one of the best offensive linemen prospects for this spring's NFL Draft.
Some early mock drafts even had him being selected as one of the top three tackles, along with Oregon's Penei Sewell, and Northwestern's Rashawn Slater.
After an up-and-down regular season, however, Cosmi's stock began to fade a bit. And following his team's elimination from Big 12 title contention at the hands of the Iowa State Cyclones, the 6-foot-7, 309-pound junior opted out of the remainder of the season, later announcing his intention to enter the NFL Draft.
MARCH 1: 'THE NEXT TRENT WILLIAMS'? Our folks at SI's "NFL Draft Bible'' have a vision ... that takes the Washington Football Team to when Trent William was here ... and moves the WFT forward with the selection of Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas.
"Life after Trent Williams was unspectacular in 2020, as most could have predicted. An upgrade is needed and painfully obvious. Cosmi has all the tools to develop into a notable blindside protector early in his career. Length, athleticism, experience - it’s all there for Cosmi to thrive.''
We hear mixed reviews on the 6-7, 310-pound Cosmi, but if there is a way to mine this draft for anybody who can come close to what Williams was? A viable idea.
With the season now over, Cosmi has drawn questions from NFL scouts, most specifically, ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay
"Sam Cosmi ... I think he needs to return to school," McShay said on ESPN's First Draft podcast. "I don’t think he had the season that everyone is kind of projecting on mock drafts and rankings, that has led him to believe he’s going to be a first-round pick. Now, he may have gotten a second-round grade from the advisory committee and the Cosmi family may have said, 'That’s good enough for us, we’re ready to go.’
McShay wasn't alone in his criticism of Cosmi's decision to enter the draft, as his colleague and long-time friendly adversary in draft matters, Kiper, also saw concerns in Cosmi's game.
"He’s one of those polarizing guys," Kiper said. "If you see him in certain games, you like his skills as a left tackle, (and he) played right tackle as well. And others where he’s had trouble in those 1-on-1 situations. He’s going to be one of those guys teams may roll the dice for earlier. It will be a lot of differences of opinion, but somebody is going to take him."
With the deadline to pull his name out of draft consideration and return to school on January 18 now passed, Cosmi's time to mull his decision and return for another year of experience is over.
Either way, it was surely a difficult decision for the soon-to-be 22-year-old. ... One that will could determine his financial future for the next few years.
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