RICHMOND, Va. — While playing in the NFL sure sounds like a fun job, it doesn't seem like Sam Cosmi's job is all that enviable these days.
Cosmi, whom Washington grabbed in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft, is currently getting most of the starter's reps at right tackle here at training camp. With Morgan Moses now in New York and Cornelius Lucas on the reserve/COVID-19 list, it's the rookie's gig right now.
That in turn means he's getting a healthy, healthy dose of the Burgundy and Gold's loaded pass rush, with Montez Sweat and Chase Young, in particular, facing off against Cosmi on a regular basis.
So far, the Texas product has been uneven, and on some snaps, he's been totally overmatched. To be fair, though, he's only three days into his first pro camp, and those guys named Sweat and Young could get by an armored truck if they needed to.
When asked about Cosmi on Friday, coach Ron Rivera explained the positives of the lineman's game.
"He does practice hard and he does practice like there is something on the line and that's important," Rivera said. "You watch Sam and he gets it. He's good individually. He's good in a group. He's the kind of guy that can help us going forward and he's got to continue to compete because he gives himself a chance, a good opportunity if he continues to compete and practice."
When Washington returns to their home facility in Ashburn, Va., they'll begin taking the field in full pads, and that's something that could help Cosmi better withstand the stars he's getting matched up with. That, plus repetition and continued self-scouting, should be key as he hopes to improve the way Rivera and Co. want him to.
"As you're a rookie, everything speeds up really fast, but once you get those adjustments, it starts to slow down and then you can think you can think less and less and play a lot faster," Brandon Scherff said about Cosmi.
Cosmi no doubt looks the part, and there are highlights from his career in college that hint at a guy with tantalizing upside. One knowledgeable person who took a deep dive into Cosmi's Texas tape believes he has the ability to be a starting lineman for Washington for a very long time, but it'll be on him to sharpen his technique and focus in order to actually pull that off.
In the more immediate future, however, Cosmi's goal should be to simply hold his own a little more each day at practice. Of course, dealing with Sweat and Young is a laborious task, but the other 31 franchises in the league possess majorly-talented edge threats of their own, so it's not like he'll be granted a respite once the season commences.
"He's going to lose some, he's going to win some," Scherff said. "So if he loses one, I just tell him pick your head up and do it again. You can't let one play beat you twice. If he messes up, holds his head down, he might get beat again."
Up to this point, yes, Cosmi's been beaten often. But as long as he learns from those sequences instead of merely gets discouraged by them, Washington will be pleased with how their draft selection pans out. Cosmi is large, intelligent and gifted. He will grow from his early issues.