3 pleasant surprises from the Commanders 2023 season

It wasn't all bad...

Sam Cosmi
Sam Cosmi / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages
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Commanders OL Sam Cosmi's transition

Ron Rivera didn't get much right on the offensive line. After inheriting a highly productive unit, a series of personnel flaws saw the protection regress into one of the league's worst. This failure to prioritize a critical area of the field ended up being his undoing.

There was one positive. One that became increasingly glaring as the campaign wore on. That, of course, was Sam Cosmi's transition from the right tackle spot to the interior.

The Washington Commanders spent a second-round selection on Cosmi in the hope he could become a prolific edge presence. That didn't go according to plan. As is the case with most tackles drafted by Rivera, the head coach decided to take his chances with the former Texas star at the right guard position instead.

This proved to be a rare masterstroke from Rivera. While almost every other offensive line position crumbled, Cosmi thrived. He played 1,103 offensive snaps in 2023, giving up just one sack and conceding four penalties en route to an outstanding 80.6 grade from Pro Football Focus. More importantly, this came across often on film.

Cosmi is the one building block on the offensive line. The Commanders could have four new starters at the other spots, but they can relax safe in the knowledge the former tackle can continue to progress entering the final year of his deal.