The 2021 NFL Draft is just about a month away. This year’s selections will be unlike any other. Teams will have to decipher between players that have plenty of college experience under their belt, or they may be taking a gamble on a player who has not played a game in a year and a half. Due to the pandemic, several players opted out completely from a 2020 season, or were limited to minimal games altogether. The players we will be focusing on today fit both sides of that coin, to a degree. That would be North Dakota State’s Dillon Radunz and Texas’ Samuel Cosmi.
We are at the point of the draft process, where individuals are likely going to differ on plenty of their player rankings. Meanwhile, both Radunz and Cosmi have been considered potential first round picks at one time or another. There is still fluctuating opinions on each. In this hypothetical however, we will attempt to pick what option of the two may be better for the Kansas City Chiefs to select near the end of round one. Would you rather draft Radunz or Cosmi? It may seem simple. But, the traits and styles are different in spots. Let’s see what skillsets each player displays, and why they could be a fit with Kansas City.
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We have completed our draft prospect profiles for both of Radunz and Cosmi. You can read each of those here and here. There were multiple positive and negative traits that stood out for each in their tape. Let’s look back at some of those from each of our FPC Chiefs draft profiles.
FOOTBALL IQ: “Radunz anticipates oncoming defenders very well. His vision stands out a ton, especially on plays where he is reaching the second level or pulling. On those specific plays, Radunz usually meets the defender in the gap before the opponent can get set up. His understanding of twisting defensive linemen is extremely high as well. Very rarely, does Radunz get confused in these situations.”
ATHLETICISM: “Not many other offensive linemen in this year’s class have the balance that Radunz has. He never falls to the ground or loses his base. The only time the offensive tackle will go to the ground, is if he is asked to cut down the opponent and take away their legs. Meanwhile, Radunz has shown a strong ability to move laterally. His transitions are smooth, as he can redirect quickly.”
PHYSICALITY: “Firing out of his stance, Radunz physically wears down opposing defenders at a rapid pace. His power at the point of attack is long-lasting. Radunz can overpower opponents and topple them into the dirt. Additionally, the North Dakota State product finishes with authority.”
ATHLETICISM: “Cosmi presents tremendous movement skills, given his lankier frame. He showed off short area quickness in spurts. Texas also asked him to be active out in space… On plays involving play action, bootlegs, outside zone attempts or during slide protection, he provides sufficient lateral mobility.”
AWARENESS: “Very rarely, is Cosmi surprised or caught off guard by multiple defensive fronts. His diagnosis during pre-snap helps to set the offense up for explosive play chances. Elsewhere, the offensive tackle often gets to the area that the offense or the play call needs in order to succeed. This happens when Cosmi is not necessarily trying to stay focused on a particular man on defense.”
LENGTH: “On certain pass rush reps, Cosmi is able to use his ample length to catch up to rushers taking wide angles towards the quarterback. The length is not just noticeable in his arms. Having that provided in his lower half as well is a bonus that not all coaches could have at their disposal.”
FUNCTIONAL STRENGTH: “In terms of being able to anchor, his slightly lacking mass could hurt him. On pass block reps, his strength and proportion does not quite measure up to his frame… He can still become even more productive as his build and physique continue to grow.”
PASS SETS: “Overall, he is an advantageous pass blocker. Radunz’ strength currently lies more in run blocking, though. He takes short, compact shuffles when mirroring opposing rushers. This can be as much of an issue, as it is a benefit to him. Radunz can be slow at times to latching onto or reacting to opponents.”
LEVERAGE/PAD LEVEL: “This is an issue that can worked through. Although, Radunz has less aggression on certain reps than others. That mauling mentality is lacking more on pass block reps, as mentioned. Radunz playing with a lower center of gravity will help against faster, bendier pass rushers.”
LEVERAGE/PAD LEVEL: “Cosmi will have to work on playing too high at the point of attack. As a result, this leads to his feet becoming stagnant during some pass protection reps. Coaches may also worry about possible penalties in run block reps. When being asked to reach to the second level, Cosmi can become stuck or turned when meeting contact.”
HAND TECHNIQUE: “The biggest issue here is timing. Simply put, Cosmi is either too wide, too high or just non-existent at times when landing his punches. Accordingly, defenders are able to lay the boom into his chest. He can be blown back or shoved to the side too often. Especially when playing in a zone blocking scheme, Cosmi has to work on placing swifter, well placed punches.”
FOOTWORK: “Despite excellent athleticism, Cosmi presents a fair share of false steps in his game. Timing can be off here too. When attempting to readjust, he can arrive much too late. Cosmi struggles more in that area with speedier pass rushers off the edge…. Cosmi will likely have to build up more strength in his lower half.”
Fits With The Chiefs
As you can see, some of their makeup is similar. We know that Andy Reid has highly favored athletic offensive linemen. Especially true, when the Chiefs are looking to add to the left tackle position. The argument I would make personally, is that Radunz is more technically sound with his athleticism and movement skills. Cosmi has been exposed to a wider variety of situations, though. Texas ran a very diverse offensive style. Cosmi appears to have a smoother transition to blocking for Kansas City, if that were to come to fruition. Due to his experience in a zone blocking scheme, the Longhorns product may feel more comfortable initially.
On the other hand, Radunz has issues that appear to be more fixable at a more rapid pace. The North Dakota State blocker has also had more time on his hands to work on those, as the Bison’s season was postponed until the spring. For Cosmi, the hand technique and results against more powerful defensive linemen have been more hit or miss than what Radunz has shown in similar situations.
Both of Radunz or Cosmi could certainly be considered first round picks. We would not be surprised to see either one go in the top 32 selections. They have seen their stocks change in different ways at different times.
Let’s start with Radunz. He was likely seen as a second round pick after he played in the NDSU Showcase game against Central Arkansas. Afterwards, players who did get to put new results on tape in 2020 were affected in some way, shape or form. They either somewhat surprised or disappointed. Then came the 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl. Radunz was named the Overall Practice Player of the Week. And immediately, he entered the first round conversation. He has remained there ever since, with a shot of hearing his name called on night one.
You go back to late fall or early winter, and Cosmi was going anywhere from 13 overall to 18 overall at best in the first round of mock drafts. The hype then grew for players like Rashawn Slater and Christian Darrisaw, and rightfully so. Though, it has been rather compelling to see more and more names gain attention above Cosmi too. The more that Cosmi has been projected lately has appeared to be in the 40 to 50 range in the second round. How will those original thoughts on Cosmi make a difference? It will also depend just exactly on how the board falls come April.
Go to the poll to cast your vote here: Draft Dillon Radunz or Samuel Cosmi in the first round?
This is another extremely difficult decision. I would personally vouch for Radunz, however. There is just more comfort that I would have with him, given where he is currently as a player. His athleticism and football IQ make him a player who can control the line of scrimmage and dictate what defenders are able to do. He has a keen ability to overpower opponents as well. That ability to finish with authority and not get moved off his base easily is a major key for Radunz in this hypothetical. Disagree with me? Let us know in the poll above.
Be on the lookout for more FPC Chiefs This Or That hypothetical articles throughout this 2021 offseason. We will post them on Tuesday and Thursday. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.