Sam Cosmi stepped onto the football field Thursday just like he had hundreds of times before as a young player growing up a few miles north of Houston. However, this time it was different. The 2021 second-round pick out of Texas was starting his first NFL preseason game for the Washington Football Team, giving him his first taste of game speed at the professional level.
He admitted to feeling some jitters in his first drive but settled in after that as Washington fell to the New England Patriots 22-13 at Gillette Stadium in the team’s first of three exhibition games before the regular season.
“First drive, after that I was rolling,” Cosmi told reporters after the game. “I felt like I was doing good the first drive too. Just had one of those moments I was like, ‘Oh, I’m actually playing an NFL game.’ So it was really cool.”
Starting at right tackle, Cosmi played into the second quarter to block for both quarterbacks Ryan Fitzpatrick and Taylor Heinicke. Pro Football Focus gave him an 81.8 player grade for the contest, which ranked first among all rookies in the game. He did have some early trouble holding his ground but overall enjoyed a strong outing in his first NFL game.
“I knew it was gonna be definitely a higher pace,” Cosmi said. “A couple of the vets that have been in the league I’ve got to talk to throughout the training process prior to being drafted were telling me, ‘Hey, you gotta go every single play as fast as you can.’ And they’re not lying. So, for sure, that has been an adjustment but I think I’ve been doing pretty good with that.”