LIST: The Texas Longhorns to be potentially picked in the 2021 NFL Draft

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Editor’s Note: The above video is from the Texas Longhorns Pro Day on March 11

CLEVELAND (KXAN) — Seven former Texas Longhorns will be waiting anxiously this weekend in hopes of hearing their names called during the 2021 NFL Draft.

The NFL Draft kicks off Thursday night at 7 p.m. in Cleveland, Ohio with the first round selections. On Friday night, the NFL will conduct the second and third rounds of the draft. Saturday closes out the NFL’s premiere offseason event with the final four rounds.

The Longhorns are in a slump when it comes to sending first round picks to the NFL, which coincides with the program’s decade of mediocre results on the field. Texas hasn’t had a player selected in the first round since defensive tackle Malcom Brown in 2015. Only two Longhorns have gone in the first round in the last 10 years.

This year, the possibilities are wide open for edge rusher Joseph Ossai and offensive lineman Sam Cosmi with mock drafts scattered on where the two Texas players will land. Most projections have both being taken before the end of the second round, which would be the first time since 2010 that the Longhorns had two players selected in the first two rounds.

Quarterback Sam Ehlinger’s draft weekend will garner a lot of attention among the Longhorns fanbase.

The heart and soul of UT’s offense for the past four seasons is projected to be a late round draft pick, but he could slide out of the draft altogether. Conversely, it only takes one franchise, viewing Ehlinger as a valuable piece at football’s most important position, to reach up and select the Westlake High School product.

Potential Texas draft picks

Joseph Ossai

Mock draft average: 1st or 2nd round

Ossai blew up during the 2020 college season, turning into a legitimate pro prospect with his pass rushing abilities. Ossai was the Longhorns sack leader in 2020 and finished second in the country in tackles for loss. He recorded 55 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, five sacks, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and two pass breakups. Right after the season, Ossai was considered to be a first round pick, but his stock has fallen slightly. Still, he shouldn’t have to wait long to hear his name called in the 1st or 2nd round.

Sam Cosmi

Mock draft average: 1st or 2nd round

NFL scouts have been watching Cosmi for over two years. The Houston product was a solid offensive tackle who kept Ehlinger upright in 34 starts over three seasons at Texas. Cosmi was a 2nd-team All American in 2020 and a 1st-team All-Big 12 selection. Cosmi could make a jump into the late first round, but he’s more likely to land in the second round.

Caden Sterns

Mock draft average: Mid rounds (3rd, 4th, 5th)

Sterns was a day-one safety starter for the Longhorns, jumping up the depth chart during his freshman season. Injuries affected his sophomore and junior seasons. Sterns decided to leave Texas after his junior year. Sterns had four interceptions during his freshman season, but finished his career with five total picks. Sterns could be picked on Friday, but will more than likely be a Saturday selection.

Sam Ehlinger

Mock draft average: Late rounds (6th or 7th)

The undisputed captain of the Longhorns will be a final day draft pick if he hears his name called. Ehlinger is in the Texas Longhorns record books for his offensive numbers over a four-year career. The Westlake product compiled total offensive numbers that compare to Longhorn legends like Vince Young and Colt McCoy. Ehlinger finished his Texas career as the fourth-most winningest quarterback in the school’s history. Saturday will be an important day for Ehlinger.

Ta’Quon Graham

Mock draft average: Late rounds (6th or 7th)

The steady defensive lineman didn’t flash staggering statistics, but was an anchor for the Longhorns front. Graham started every game for Texas during his junior and senior season, tallying 5.5 sacks and 54 total tackles. Graham should get a call from an NFL franchise Saturday.

Brennan Eagles

Mock draft average: Late rounds (6th or 7th)

Eagles opted to leave Texas early, following his 2020 junior season. Eagles led the Longhorns in receiving this past season with 28 receptions and 469 yards. He caught a pass in 21 straight games at Texas. The Alief Taylor High School product will be a last day draft pick, teetering toward undrafted.

Chris Brown

Mock draft average: Late rounds or undrafted

Brown became a full-fledged starter at safety in his final two seasons in Austin. Brown had an interception in each of his last three seasons with the Longhorns. He was named a captain for the 2020 season. This year, he had 47 tackles and 8 passes defended.

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