There’s a growing consensus that the Las Vegas Raiders should take a tackle with the 17th overall pick in next month’s NFL draft. If that’s the case, two-time All-Big 12 selection Samuel Cosmi from Texas makes sense.
Trading away Trent Brown seemed like a foregone conclusion. It was almost like the writing was on the wall with talk about weight struggles among other issues. While Brown’s back with the New England Patriots, the Raiders find themselves with a hole at right tackle. Yes, most of the offensive line appears to be rounded out already but that key slot remains bare. Cosmi could be an instant starting right tackle if Las Vegas decides that need warrants their first-round pick.
Listed at 6’7″ and weighing in at 309 pounds, Cosmi is an imposing behemoth with 33-inch arms. He is fast for his size, posting a 4.85 40-yard dash on his Pro Day. If those numbers don’t impress you, his 10-feet broad jump and his vertical jump of 30 inches definitely should. The Texas standout protecting quarterback Derek Carr for years to come would be a welcomed sight with Kolton Miller locking down the left side.
Why should the Raiders consider Sam Cosmi?
Strictly looking at Pro Football Focus grades, Cosmi is one of the best offensive tackle prospects in the draft. In 2020, Cosmi had an impressive 90.8 grade. Also, he posted a 90.7 pass-blocking grade and 86.4 in run-blocking. Cosmi would come with his own share of concerns, particularly in the strength department as the Draft Network’s Jordan Reid points out, “with plenty of capacity on his body structure, he has the build to pack on 10-15 more pounds of muscle”.
Under the auspice of offensive line coach Tom Cable and the Raiders’ training staff, Cosmi could put that weight on. After seeing the Raiders’ run game struggle last year, adding a potent run blocker like the Texas native would also help, “As a run blocker, he climbs to the second level with ease in order to latch and eliminate targets.”
Cosmi’s run-blocking prowess was on full display last year, especially against Baylor. You can see ’52’ dominate the line of scrimmage and demolish defenders as cleared running lanes. Considering the Raiders will be featuring a rushing duo in Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake, drafting such a polished run-blocker with good pass-blocking upside makes sense.
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*Top Photo: Nick Wagner/American-Statesman