In the fourth round of the draft, the Falcons finally addressed their most blatant hole – the defensive line. This unit was atrocious last year and doesn’t look any more promising on paper coming into 2019. Beyond that, the futures of Vic Beasley, Jack Crawford, and Grady Jarrett past this year are up in the air. By the end of the season, the only notable defensive lineman left on the roster could be Takk McKinley, and perhaps this lesser know prospect that Atlanta selected with the 135th pick, John Cominsky.
The more I watch and read about Cominsky; the more intrigued I become with the potential of this player out of Division II Charleston University. His physique for a player coming out of a small program is off the charts, standing at 6’5″ and nearly 290 pounds – with not much of that weight wasted on fat. Cominsky is an athletic man that was initially brought in to be an option quarterback at 215 pounds. It turns out he was best suited for blowing up blockers at the line of scrimmage.
With the Falcons, one of the biggest questions that will have to be answered is, “what position does he play?” Coach Quinn said after the pick that Cominsky can play both inside and outside. The Barberton product has the ideal build to be a defensive end in a 3-4 scheme. Pass rushing was not his forte in college, but he’s exceptionally stout at the line of scrimmage and is a wrecking ball against the run. Considering most scouts advise that Cominsky needs to continue to put on size and strength to match NFL lineman, he appears best fit to slide into an interior role with Atlanta.
There’s nothing wrong with that. The Falcons need to add bodies at defensive tackle just as badly as they do on the EDGE. But for now, and the near future, Cominsky’s future at defensive-end is limited due to his non-existent secondary pass rushing moves. If the Falcons want to get the most out of this pick, they are going to have to teach him how to get off blockers at the next level. Although his athleticism, thinner build, and proficiency against the run could have him play a similar role to Brooks Reed early on.
How the Falcons use him will affect his ultimate potential. Where he will be the most valuable is out on the Edge. Cominsky has the size, speed, and strength to develop into an outside guy. However, if you can’t provide much of a rush on the passer, you don’t do much good for a team out there. At his peak, Cominsky could transform into a reliable run stopper on the Edge that does his due diligence against the pass, racking up somewhere from five to eight sacks.
What’s most likely is Cominsky bulks up some more and becomes a force on the interior. Perhaps on the inside, he can make more use of his athleticism against guards and provide an occasional pass rush while serving as a run stopper.
But the key with Cominsky in whole is rather simple. He has the type of strength and athleticism to do this to other 300-pound men.
I don’t care what level of football it is, this kind of play doesn’t often happen, if at all. That’s a straight bull meeting a poor man in the streets of Pamplona – not an exercise of football. You can see Cominsky should have no issue standing his ground and using his length to extend on blockers. The next step for him is going to be learning how to use his hands to get off those blocks against NFL lineman (who won’t go down as easy) and make plays on both running and passing downs.
Like basically every fourth-round pick in this draft, there’s going to be a substantial learning curve Cominsky will have to overcome. Especially considering, he spent the last four years playing against your local UPS drivers. But the physical traits are there for him to become this year’s sleeper pick for Atlanta. It’s just going to take time for him to develop into an NFL-caliber defensive lineman.