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Who is Commanders Most Underrated Player?

Bypassing the most important ability a player can have, one Washington sophomore could be a breakout star in 2022

When the Washington Commanders drafted Texas offensive lineman Sam Cosmi in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft everyone wondered if he'd be the man to break the team's terrible Day 2 streak of picks.

While the team hadn't actually made a pick in the second round from 2018 to last year, the last three taken (running back Derrius Guice and outside linebackers Ryan Anderson and Su'a Cravens) all failed to live up to the draft capital investments that brought them to the NFL.

Defensive tackle Phidarian Mathis out of Alabama is this year's entry into the log of second-round picks to wear burgundy and gold, but if Sports Illustrated's Connor Orr is right in his comments about Cosmi, then the curse will have been broken before Mathis has to fully prove his own value to the team.

"Cosmi allowed four sacks during his rookie season in Washington, though the Commanders seemed to trust him in the running game, calling plays to his outside right shoulder more frequently than all but nine other teams in the NFL," Orr wrote about Cosmi while identifying him as the team's most underrated player. "Cosmi played in only nine games last season, but seemed to possess the requisite mean streak in the running game and the ability to flush pass rushers out of the pocket. He’ll have his hands full with Carson Wentz, a quarterback who tends toward hero ball in the pocket and could extend plays beyond a reasonable length. That said, if we’re to isolate his numbers on scheduled, on-time dropbacks next year, my guess is that Cosmi will fare quite well."

As Orr mentions, Cosmi played in just nine games, so it's a relatively small sample size he's using to proclaim the right tackle may be the team's most underrated asset. 

That being said, to call the time we did see Cosmi 'solid' would be a good assessment, and certainly lends validity to the idea he could take a step forward in the coming year. 

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Personally, I'd go with tight end John Bates as the team's most underrated player. 

In his own rookie season, Bates played in 17 games and started eight for a team struggling through injuries. 

His stat line of 20 catches, 249 yards, and one receiving touchdown won't knock your socks off, but his 80 percent catch rate was sixth-best among all NFL tight ends with 25 targets or more. 

Bates' yards per reception (12.5) ranked eighth in the same demographic.

Of course, if the Washington Commanders have their way, both young men will have breakout seasons on the way to each of their first experiences with postseason NFL football.