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PFF's Mike Renner predicts breakout season for Sam Cosmi

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Pro Football Focus is expecting big things from Sam Cosmi in Year 2.

In a recent article written by Mike Renner, PFF ranked 15 players from the 2021 draft class who are primed for breakout seasons in 2022. The list includes quarterbacks like Trevor Lawrence, who is slated as the No. 1 candidate by Renner, as well as defensive players like Los Angele Rams linebacker Ernest Jones.

Cosmi, who finished last season with the third highest overall grade by a tackle among his fellow rookies, falls at No. 7 on Renner's list.

"Cosmi was yet another player expected to take his time to find his footing in the NFL," Renner wrote. "Yet, he allowed only 16 pressures on 282 pass-blocking snaps for a 74.9 overall grade."

Cosmi, taken by the Commanders with the No. 51 overall pick in 2021, has come a long way from struggling against Chase Young and Montez Sweat. It's about as close as a "trial by fire" as one could expect in training camp, but it ended up being valuable experience for Cosmi; PFF gave him the third-best overall grade on a Washington offensive line that was one of the better units in the league.

"You see the growth...having that gameday experience and the way he's handled his business," said assistant offensive line coach Travelle Wharton. "He's playing with confidence and that's what you like to see."

Cosmi certainly took advantage of his time spent with Wharton and offensive line coach John Matsko. On top of mastering his technique, which was his focus during the offseason, he's heading into his second season with a deeper understanding of how to read defenses.

"I'm able to identify if the safety is down and stuff like that," Cosmi said. "[I can] understand more of what the center is trying to call out, seeing things before [the snap] … I think that's what I've seen so far."

That improvement hasn't been overlooked by his coaches, either.

"You can tell he's been working on it," Wharton said. "[I'm] seeing that our techniques have been working for him and he has success with them. Every day, he's working on something different."

As Renner points out, Cosmi showed that he had the athletic ability to be a quality player during the draft process. He recorded a 4.84-second 40-yard dash as well as a 9-foot-9 broad jump, 4.39-second short-shuttle time and 7.35-second three-cone drill.

The challenge was putting that ability into action, and the former Longhorn achieved that; he was the team's best run-blocker by PFF's metrics and was 12th among all offensive tackles.

The Commanders are primed to have another exceptional offensive line in 2022. Three of the five starters are returning, and it's two replacements at guard – Andrew Norwell and Trai Turner -- both have Pro Bowl resumes.

Cosmi will be a critical component to the Commanders meeting those expectations, and he has the goal of being seen as the best right tackle in football.

Renner isn't willing to go that far, but he does predict Cosmi will take a drastic jump.

"If Cosmi makes as big a leap next year as he did prior to his rookie season, he will be a top-10 right tackle in the NFL."

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