According to NFL.com’s Chad Reuter, the Indianapolis Colts’ ideal top two picks in the 2021 NFL Draft are Texas offensive tackle Samuel Cosmi and Kentucky cornerback Kelvin Joseph respectively:
Round 1: No. 21 overall — Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
Round 2: No. 54 overall — Kelvin Joseph, CB, Kentucky
The retirement of left tackle Anthony Castonzo leaves a gaping hole for the Colts to fill. Cosmi’s a carbon copy of Castonzo and would immediately step into that starting role. Look for the team to trade down a few spots in the first round and still grab the former Longhorn. Joseph sat out the 2019 season after transferring from LSU to Kentucky, per NCAA rules, but he showed why he was once a top-50 recruit in 2020. He could be a steal at No. 54 for GM Chris Ballard.
Regarding Cosmi, the 6’5”, 314 pound offensive tackle made 35 straight starts for the Longhorns—with 21 of those starts protecting the blindside.
This past season, he started the first 8 games at left tackle before foregoing the remainder of the year to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft—but still managed to earn First-Team All-Big 12 honors in the process.
Cosmi tested incredibly well at his recent Texas Pro Day, featuring a sparkling RAS [Relative Athletic Score] of 9.99 out of 10.00:
Samuel Cosmi is a OT prospect in the 2021 draft class. He scored a 9.99 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 2 out of 1119 OT from 1987 to 2021.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 28, 2021
This is the highest #RAS for a OT using official testing numbers (and may move up to 10.00 again).https://t.co/KIeGKJDQQm pic.twitter.com/pxsILWuz1l
Cosmi is an athletic offensive tackle with length, quickness, and the ability to climb to the second level of opposing defenses in a zone blocking scheme.
He would be a natural fit for the Colts as ‘plug-and-play’ starter at the team’s vacant left tackle spot—as a superb pass protector from the get-go.
While physical as a run blocker, he’s not quite in the same mold as Christian Darrisaw or Teven Jenkins in this draft class—as he’s not going to simply maul or overpower many defenders, instead utilizing angles and fundamentally sound technique to wall off defenders.
As such, he could withstand to get stronger at the point of attack.
Still, his outstanding production speaks for itself:
Samuel Cosmi: Highest pass-blocker vs ranked teams in 2020 (91.3) pic.twitter.com/tn5B6UcC67— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 5, 2021
Samuel Cosmi: 89.5 pass-blocking grade vs power-five defenses— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 8, 2021
Highest in the 2021 draft class pic.twitter.com/aiucxSH3IY
Highest career pass-blocking grade in the 2021 Draft class— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 26, 2021
1. Brady Christensen, BYU: 94.5
2. Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC: 91.9
3. Samuel Cosmi, Texas: 89.6
4. Penei Sewell, Oregon: 89.3 pic.twitter.com/Ne9dOERfbF
Only power five OTs with 85+ run and pass blocking grades:— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) December 8, 2020
Samuel Cosmi, Texas
Christian Darrisaw, VA Tech pic.twitter.com/VNzlgnFflr
Meanwhile, Joseph is a 5’11”, 197 pound cornerback, who just played as a redshirt sophomore for the Kentucky Wildcats—having sat out a season as a former LSU transfer.
He recorded 25 tackles (14 solo), 0.5 tackles for loss, 4 interceptions (one touchdown return), and a pass defensed during 9 starts in 2020.
Joseph tested out pretty well physically, showcasing a RAS of 9.01 out of 10.00:
Kelvin Joseph is a CB prospect in the 2021 draft class. He scored a 9.01 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 177 out of 1784 CB from 1987 to 2021. https://t.co/oc3IURLELi #RAS via @Mathbomb pic.twitter.com/OXJqGDIpbI— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 15, 2021
He had the second most interceptions in the SEC last season, and here’s what else they’re saying on the NFL Draft’s rising top cornerback prospect:
Kelvin Joseph had the 2nd most INTs in the SEC last season— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 4, 2021
There’s a lot of buzz about Kentucky CB Kelvin Joseph. Just starting my study. Smooth/fluid/explosive dude!! https://t.co/gLHjT6jw9L— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) February 4, 2021
Only 2 CBs earned a 70+ grade vs Alabama last season:— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 24, 2021
Kelvin Joseph, Kentucky: 79.7
Eli Ricks, LSU: 76.0 pic.twitter.com/Zno2LI4DjF
Joseph seems to possess what the Colts typically covet at cornerback, as far as his length, ball skills, fluidity in coverage, and willingness to help in the run game.
While offensive tackle and edge rusher remain the Colts’ biggest needs, Indianapolis is going to select the best player available—as long as it remotely aligns with a team need.
[That being said, given the loaded depth of the draft class, it would be surprising to me if the Colts did not select an offensive tackle within their first two selections—because talent and need should perfectly coincide at some point early on.]
It’s not as though the Colts couldn’t use help at outside cornerback either.
Team owner Jim Irsay recently stated the Colts could use another ‘capable guy’ at the position, and the team right now has two 30 year old veteran cornerbacks playing on one-year deals regarding Xavier Rhodes and T.J. Carrie.
Therefore, selecting Joseph early makes some ideal sense.
However, as impressive athletes with exceptional collegiate production, both Cosmi and Joseph would fill key team needs and project as impactful young players going forward for the Colts—or any other NFL franchise for that matter.