By Adam Aniba
In today's NFL versatility is key, especially when playing on the offensive line. This draft features multiple OL prospects who have displayed positional versatility, particularly during the pre-draft process.
North Dakota State University's Cody Mauch was one of the top lineman in Missouri Valley Conference in 2022 and shined during his week in Mobile.
Mauch moved up draft boards during the Senior Bowl practices. He impressed scouts when he saw reps at all 5 o-line spots and looked particularly effective inside at guard.
6'5" 302 lbs | OT/G | NDSU
Proj Late 2nd-3rd Rd Grade
Mauch grew up in Hankinson, ND and was 4 sport athlete for Hankinson HS. Mauch was named to the All-Conference and All-Region team as a standout on the basketball team, he was a State Qualifier on the Track team and also played Baseball for Hankinson.
Mauch was a 3-year starter for the Hankinson HS football team, playing two-way football and lining up at defensive end, tight end and even took snaps at quarterback.
Mauch was a 2-time All State selection and a team captain his senior year. He registered 23 receptions for 474 yards and 13 touchdowns and led his team to the 2016 Regional Championship.
He finished his career with 1,072 receiving yards and 24 TDs (school record) and was selected to play in the Badlands Bowl and North Dakota Shrine Game. Mauch received minimal D1 interest and opted to stay in state and attend N.Dakota State for the '17 season.
The Hankinson HS product would redshirt his freshman season and was primarily a reserve and scout team tight end/offensive tackle for next three seasons.
In '21 Mauch started his first 2 games at right tackle, before moving to left tackle for the rest of season (403 of the team's 411 snaps).
In 2021 Mauch only allowed 1 sack with zero penalties committed. He was pivotal piece in the NDSU rushing attack, which accounted for 192.3 yards per game in conference play with a league leading 13 rushing touchdowns (4.8 yards per carry average).
The Bisons ranked 4th in FCS and 2nd among MVFC teams in fewest sacks allowed (0.80 per game). Mauch was named to the All-Missouri Valley Football Conference 2nd team in his first year as a starter.
In '22 Mauch utilized the extra year of eligibility to play a 5th season (active seasons) for NDCU, starting all 15 games (all at left tackle). For the 10th time in 12 years NDCU advanced to the NCAA Division I FCS championship game.
His best performance last season came against South Dakota, in which NDCU rushed for an astounding 356 yards. After a stellar season, Mauch was named to the All-Missouri Valley Football Conference 1st team, All-America 1st team, FCS Offensive Lineman of the Year.
On the season, Mauch participated in 622 regular-season snaps with a 94% overall grade, zero sacks allowed and only one holding penalty. The Bisons ranked 4th nationally in rushing yards (256.7 yards per game)
2022 Walter Payton Award Finalist (8th)
2022 FCS ADA Top Offensive Lineman
2022 Phil Steele FCS Offensive Lineman of the Year
2022 Phil Steele FCS All-America First Team
2022 AP FCS All-America Team First Team
2022 Stats Perform FCS All-America First Team
2022 AFCA FCS All-America First Team
2022 HERO Sports FCS All-America
2022 Athlon Sports FCS All-America
2021 Associated Press All-America Second Team
2021 & 2022 All-MVFC First Team
2020-21 All-MVFC Second Team
2022 MVFC Offensive Lineman of the Week (2)
Displays a mean streak as a finisher
Excellent downfield blocker, frequently seeks out contact
Position versatility (former tight end played every o-line position except center)
Impressive overall strength (29 bench press reps at the NFL Combine)
Displayed balance and agility when faced speed rushers
Arm length is a minor concern (32 3/8" arms) and can be exposed when lining up at tackle on the next level
Footwork will require refinement in pass pro, susceptible to the bullrush
Can get grabby if loses leverage/out of position
Hand usage in pass pro will need refinement
Lean lower body, needs to add more bulk
In '22 Mauch displayed his versatility during the pre-draft process and Guard, not left tackle seem to be his best position on the next level. His value as a potential swing tackle should also appeal to scouts. The former tight end was frequently an eligible receiver at NDSU, so teams can also get creative with him in red zone situations.
Prior to the Senior Bowl, Mauch had a late 3rd-early 4th round grade. Many scouts now believe he's a 2nd-3rd round prospect at guard.
Teams love position versatility, but more importantly, teams love offensive lineman that are finishers and understand how to utilize angles when blocking downfield.
Mauch is a plug & play guard on the next level and should be in high demand on Day 2 of the draft.
*Games Played- 9/24/22 vs S.Dakota, 10/15 vs S.Dakota St., 11/19 vs N. Dakota, 12/3 vs Montana, 12/9 vs Samford & 12/16 vs UIW
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