The 2021 NFL Draft season is finally upon us. Football, for now, is over. All eyes will turn to the offseason as 32 franchises attempt to build their teams up to championship-caliber squads.
Among those teams will be the Jacksonville Jaguars, who hold 11 picks in this season’s draft -- including the No. 1 overall pick. The Jaguars are entering a new era under Head Coach Urban Meyer, and the 2021 draft will serve as a catalyst to the Jaguars’ rebuild moving into the future.
As we march closer and closer to April’s draft, we will look at individual draft prospects and how they would potentially fit with the Jaguars. Instead of looking at any negatives, we are going to look at what the players do well and if they could match what the Jaguars need at the specific role or position.
In this edition, we take a look at Texas Longhorns offensive tackle Samuel Cosmi, who has been one of 2021's most hyped tackle prospects for two seasons. Cosmi also happens to the player who is mocked to the Jaguars in the first round at the third-highest rate according to Grinding The Mocks.
So, does Cosmi make sense for the Jaguars at pick No. 25 or at any other spot in the draft? We examine below.
A three-star offensive line prospect who committed to Texas and former head coach Tom Herman, Cosmi redshirted for his freshman season in 2017. He began his journey as a redshirt freshman starter in 2018, earning the nod as the Longhorns' starter at right tackle for the final 13 games of the season and earning votes from coaches in the conference as the Big 12's top offensive freshman.
Cosmi shifted to the left side for Texas in his redshirt sophomore year and once again had a highly productive season. As the Longhorns' offense set some of its bench offensive marks in years, Cosmi was the stalwart of the offensive line and started all 13 games. As a result, Cosmi was named second team All-Big 12 Conference.
Cosmi returned in 2020 and once again started at left tackle, starting the first eight games of the season before opting out and declaring for the draft at the end of November. Even with a shortened season, the standout tackle was recognized as a first team All-Conference player.
What Samuel Cosmi Does Well
Cosmi's calling card will be his athleticism. At 6-foot-7 and 310 pounds, Cosmi's agility and explosiveness shine in both the run and passing game. Athleticism at offensive tackle isn't always the key to translating to the NFL, but it can certainly make things easier and add to a toolbox of traits.
As a run blocker, Cosmi is extremely quick to move to the second level to shield linebackers away from the play. He explodes out of his stance and is an easy mover in space, especially when asked to pull or get out to the perimeter on screens or outside runs. There were some reps on his tape of tracking second and third-level defenders from beyond 10 yards of the line of scrimmage and then hitting the aiming points on defenders and securing downfield blocks in the process.
In pass protection, Cosmi is clearly comfortable in mirroring with pass-rushers. Once he hits his landmark, he has no issues at keeping up with speedy defensive ends and linebackers in confined spaces. This showed up on reps against K'Lavon Chaisson in 2019; while Chaisson won several reps against Cosmi, Cosmi won a few of his own thanks to his ability to mirror the athletic pass-rusher's moves in space. In short, he does a good job of simply being in the way.
Cosmi is also adept at recovering when beaten in pass protection, in large part because of the strength he plays with as a pass blocker. He has a good anchor and showed the ability to use his upper body to turn edge rushers and position them away from the edge. He can get jolted on first contact at times, but he did a good job of re-anchoring in most instances.
Cosmi is also a clearly intelligent and instinctual player. He does a good job of picking up blitzes off the edge and is an excellent blocker against all kinds of stunts. He recognizes stunts early, maintains initial blocks, and then passes defenders over with ease. This is where his experience comes in handy.
How Samuel Cosmi Would Fit With the Jaguars
Cosmi's experience at each tackle spot and his athleticism at least give him a solid floor as a tackle prospect. We don't yet know what kind of offensive tackle situation the Jaguars will be looking at once April rolls around, but on the surface Cosmi makes some sense as a target.
Cosmi has started over 30 games, has played each tackle spot, was a team captain, and is a good athlete. There are reasons to think he can be a serviceable starter at left tackle early in his career as well, just as Cam Robinson was in 2017. There are a number of reasons why Cosmi and his extensive track record of success at left tackle would fit the Jaguars.
With that said, there should be some concern with making him a target at No. 25 overall. As renowned offensive line analyst Brandon Thorn explained to our own Gus Logue, Jaguars offensive line coach George Warhop teaches his offensive tackles to use vertical sets. While Cosmi is an excellent athlete, this doesn't translate to him having clean footwork on pass sets, let alone vertical sets. In fact, his ability to set vertically and keep himself square is likely the biggest red flag on what is otherwise some impressive tape.
With this said, Cosmi did show some ability to have natural pass sets. This is likely more of a technical issue than anything else and should be fixable. It does go to note, however, that he would likely have a big transition to Jacksonville's blocking scheme.
It is a lot easier to make an argument for the Jaguars to pick Cosmi at No. 33 than No. 25. He is a talented player, but there are enough questions with his fit with the Jaguars and his technique issues to make it a question of whether he should be the team's second-highest selection in the 2021 NFL Draft.
With that said, we fully expect for the Jaguars to be high on Cosmi due to his experience. He started a lot of games at Texas and had mostly stellar production, and it is unlikely the Jaguars would be quick to look past that if they are forced to pick and start a rookie left tackle in 2021.
For all of our 2021 NFL Draft profiles, click below.