According to The Athletic’s Dane Brugler (subscription), the Indianapolis Colts will be selecting a much needed offensive tackle in his NFL Mock Draft 1.0, as he has the Horseshoe drafting Texas Longhorns left tackle Samuel Cosmi with the 23rd overall pick:
23. Indianapolis Colts: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
Anthony Castonzo, who left Sunday’s game with an MCL sprain, is still playing at a high level, but the future of the position is a question. Cosmi has starting experience at left and right tackle and does a great job using knee bend and foot quickness to sit in his stance, attacking rushers with leverage.
The redshirt junior left tackle recently forego the remainder of the collegiate season to enter and prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft process.
The 6’7”, 309 pound offensive tackle has made 35 straight starts for the Longhorns—with 21 of those starts at left tackle. He earned 2nd-Team All-Big 12 honors for Texas during 2019 and moves pretty well for a big man of his sheer size:
Samuel Cosmi pulling on the QB Sweep brought back those @jstaley74 memories@seniorbowl pic.twitter.com/dbsDZyX0Tq— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) November 30, 2020
Having also excelled in pass protection:
#Texas LT Samuel Cosmi put on a show vs OU #HookEm pic.twitter.com/mfVuyXAiXl— A ron Bloch (@PFF_Aaron) October 14, 2020
Samuel Cosmi career at Texas— PFF College (@PFF_College) June 11, 2020
Pass-block snaps: 1,162
QB sacks allowed: 4 pic.twitter.com/lC2tF15ORP
While Anthony Castonzo remains rock solid for the Colts, he’s 32 years old and will enter the last year of the 2-year, $33 million contract extension he signed this past offseason—having already contemplated retirement once in his 10-year NFL career.
The longtime Colts’ bookend continues to play at a high level and may age gracefully much like the Los Angeles Rams’ 39 year old left tackle Andrew Whitworth—should he extend his playing career. However, there’s also the chance he decides to hang them up all together at any point—meaning the Colts cannot afford to be caught off guard either without a suitable successor already in the fold.
Regardless, the Colts seemingly have a huge deficiency among their backup depth behind Castonzo right now, as neither veteran Le’Raven Clark nor 4-year pro Chaz Green has inspired much confidence in limited action filling in for Castonzo so far this season.
The Colts could look to develop a long-term answer behind Castonzo to sit for a season in 2021 before fully handing them over the starting reins ahead of the 2022 season.
In the short-term, that developmental left tackle, whether it’s Cosmi or another early drafted tackle prospect, would still be a significant upgrade as the Colts primary backup offensive tackle compared to their current depth—or rather, lackthereof.
It’s a position that needs to be significantly addressed this upcoming offseason both now and for the future.