IOL- Cody Mauch, North Dakota State (6-6, 303)
Nothing gets the juices flowing down in Mobile more than the offensive line vs. defensive line in one-on-ones; who doesn’t love watching the hog mollies smash it up as they try to capture the attention of the NFL world? There’s a rich history of trench play at the Senior Bowl being the spark prospects need to get the attention they deserve.
Last year it was Chattanooga’s Cole Strange (selected 29th by the New England Patriots), and this year it could be another FCS offensive lineman that uses an impressive week at the Senior Bowl to sneak into the first round. North Dakota State’s Cody Mauch has been an “if you know, you know” type of player over the last few months.
Watching the Bisons left tackle’s tape tends to lead to uttering “wow” at least a few times. It’s not surprising to learn that Mauch was a high school tight end that used the last six years in Fargo to bulk up and develop on the offensive line. He’s managed to keep that tight end athleticism while becoming an FCS All-American and three-year starter.
Mauch’s one of the most explosive run blockers in the 2023 NFL Draft firing out of his stance and overpowering defensive lineman to the point he takes them for a ride downfield if he doesn’t pancake them first. His quickness lends perfectly to zone blocking where he washes defenders away on reach blocks and seals them with ease when working to the second level; all he does is displace defenders and create run lanes.
That athleticism translates to pass pro where he has the lateral agility to mirror; his nastiness shows up there too, and he’s well-versed in the snatch and trap. The concerns with Mauch come with pass pro technique where his footwork can be scattered and his hand placement needs improvement—one-on-one at the Senior Bowl can help him show he’s improved there.
Although a left tackle in college, Mauch’s skill set might best translate to guard in the NFL where his dominance as a run blocker and ability to work in space would best be utilized; he’ll likely be working at both tackle and guard in Mobile. Mauch might be the best bet to make a first-round leap among the offensive linemen at the Senior Bowl.