Cody Mauch, OT, North Dakota State | NFL Draft Scouting Report

Following in the footsteps of Trevor Penning and Cole Strange, can North Dakota State OT Cody Mauch be the next early-round FCS tackle with his scouting report?

North Dakota State OT Cody Mauch will be one of the FCS’ top representatives in the 2023 NFL Draft, but where exactly does he rank in the 2023 offensive tackle class? Here’s a look at Mauch’s full scouting report and player profile, complete with strengths, areas for improvement, and an NFL projection.

Cody Mauch NFL Draft Profile

  • Position: Offensive Tackle
  • School: North Dakota State
  • Current Year: Redshirt Senior
  • Height/Weight: 6’5″, 302 pounds
  • Length: 32 3/8″
  • Hand: 9 3/4″

North Dakota State is the titan of the FCS. They win often, and a large reason why is because they consistently win in the trenches. It’s not surprising to learn that the Bison have produced several quality NFL offensive linemen over the years.

In the past decade especially, North Dakota State has been surprisingly productive as an NFL talent developer. Bison products like Billy Turner, Joe Haeg, Dillon Radunz, and, most recently, Cordell Volson have all carved out respectable careers.

Together, those four have set a high bar to clear for future Bison prospects. But that’s no trouble for Mauch, who potentially has the ceiling to surpass them all.

Mauch has come a long way since joining the Bison as a high school tight end, quarterback, and defensive end in 2017. He went from redshirt, to scout team player, to backup tackle, to All-American starter.

After earning his first starting action in the spring season of 2021, Mauch emerged as a dominant blocker the next fall season. His long amber locks and toothy grin became a source of fear for opposing defenders in space, as Mauch routinely mauled his opponents into submission.

Mauch would go on to start all 30 games across the 2021 and 2022 campaigns at left tackle. And in 2022, he was named the Phil Smith FCS Offensive Lineman of the Year, as he helped lead the North Dakota State Bison to the championship stage once again.

Mauch racked up accolades in his time at North Dakota State. And soon, early-round 2023 NFL Draft pick could be added to his list of accomplishments.

Cody Mauch Scouting Report

With FCS linemen like Trevor Penning, Cole Strange, and Braxton Jones finding success in the 2022 NFL Draft, Mauch bears noting as a player who can carry the torch in 2023.

Mauch’s Strengths

Mauch comes with the skill set you’d expect from a former standout HS tight end. He’s a tall athlete with a fairly lean frame with decent mass at 6’5″, 302 pounds. The most striking and telling characteristic regarding his past, however, is his elite functional athleticism.

Against FCS and FBS opponents alike, Mauch’s movement ability pops. He’s an energetic short-area blocker and lateral mover who’s extremely quick out of his sets and fleet-footed when matching rushers. Meanwhile, in space, Mauch is an explosive athlete who gains ground upfield quickly off the line and brings exceptional range as a moving blocker.

Mauch has the high-end explosiveness to overtake the 4i as a moving blocker and seal out, and he reaches the second level incredibly quickly when flowing through open lanes. Meanwhile, in pass protection, Mauch shows off scary recovery athleticism and corrective twitch after contact. He can reset his base and positioning with eye-popping quickness and ease.

Conducting athletic testing at the NFL Combine, Mauch logged a Relative Athletic Score (RAS) of 8.77 — in the elite tier. His weight drew down his overall score, but his 5.09 40-yard dash and 1.79 10-yard split were both strong figures. Meanwhile, Mauch’s agility testing was stellar. His 7.33 three-cone was in the 96th percentile at his position since 1987.

In spite of his lacking proportional length, Mauch has very good raw power. The North Dakota State OT can shock defenders at contact with full two-hand extensions, properly leveraging his base. He also channels acquired leverage and momentum into run blocks, maximizing power output.

Mauch is able to torque rushers out of plays at the apex with hips and full extensions. Most notably, his explosive athleticism translates to menacing leg drive. He surges into blocks and bulldozes opponents to the second level.

Though he can get stronger, Mauch does have the “butte strong” gene you’d expect from a product of Hankinson, North Dakota — showing good relative strength for his size and mass. He has the necessary core strength to anchor and stall rushes after first countering with independent hands.

With his tall frame, Mauch walls off opponents. Furthermore, he has the grip strength to seal off edge rushers on run plays after violently extending and latching.

For his size, Mauch has solid knee bend and can acquire leverage and establish a solid center of gravity in pass protection. He’s able to play with controlled lean past his center of gravity to maximize reach while maintaining leverage. That leverage acquisition is even more consistent in the running game, where Mauch effectively lowers his pads and aligns himself to maximize leverage and drive while anchoring under opposing pads.

In pass protection, Mauch is superb at staying square with opponents, maintaining a strong base and keeping equilibrium. But he’s also flexible enough to adjust when he needs to. He’s able to turn his hips to seal rushers out at the apex and sustain leg churn. He can also direct linebackers in space with quick hip swivels. In space, he has enough looseness in his hips to quickly adjust blocking angles and correct his positioning.

Mauch’s athleticism translates incredibly well in both phases, and his existing upside is very exciting, especially as a pass protector. The North Dakota State OT’s short-area energy allows him to quickly reset his base positioning and width when needed, and he has exceptional foot speed on recovery. On more routine reps, however, Mauch is able to widen his base and keep his hands tight to absorb and stymy power rushes.

Mauch is able to tilt his feet out to properly absorb attacks, sustain leverage, and transfer weight. The North Dakota State OT has also shown the ability to maintain control on his kick based on defender alignment. In spite of his high-energy athleticism and aggression, Mauch very rarely plays without restraint.

On top of his smooth footwork, Mauch stacks very efficient, calculated hand usage. Even without elite length, he violently extends and latches with a good sense of timing. He often waits until defenders work across his face and enter his wheelhouse before punching, showing great synergy and balance as a pass protector.

At contact, Mauch can quickly strike and torque through two-hand extensions to lock out defenders and stall their advances.

We’ve mentioned that Mauch keeps his hands tight, but he can do so while also targeting individual extensions and quickly replacing his anchor. He brings efficient hands in pass protection and flashes elite independent hand usage. The Bison OT can successively punch the outside shoulder and chop hands before anchoring while keeping his matching technique steady.

Mauch attracts awe with his athleticism, power, and technique. But above it all, he’s a hyper-elite physical threat with constant energy and tenacity as a competitor. He launches into contact situations and relishes the chance to make defenders eat grass.

Additionally, Mauch is a constant-hustle player when pursuing his assignments. He brings a mauler mentality, but he isn’t reckless by any means. In fact, his awareness is another very strong quality on tape.

He’s shown the ability to quickly attain proper alignment, drag interior rushers, then adjust his split to wall off outside rushers. Mauch is an alert pass protector who quickly processes disguised blitzing looks and adjusts accordingly. He’s adept at recognizing delayed blitzers and repositioning himself.

In the running game, Mauch’s awareness shows up as well, and it once again translates to impressive efficiency. Mauch stacks blocks to the second level with both urgency and patience, fulfilling assignments and working upfield with relentless efficiency. He has great spatial and angle awareness, and it shows up frequently on stacked blocks in close quarters, where Mauch seals off defenders in rapid succession.

Mauch’s Areas for Improvement

Perhaps the biggest knock on Mauch this cycle will be regarding his proportional length. At 6’5″, with arms likely under 33″ long, his proportional length is noticeably below average. This has caused some speculation that he may be better suited at guard in the NFL.

Mauch has shown he can counteract his length issues to a degree with technique, which is why I think he can stay at tackle. But his middling length does put a slight cap on his raw-power capacity, rendering it non-elite. Additionally, he sometimes bends at the waist slightly when over-extending to compensate for his length, negating his lower body and putting his balance at risk.

At 302 pounds, Mauch is a bit light for his frame, and his core strength isn’t elite. At times, he struggles to plant and suffocate rushes off initial contact. He doesn’t quite have the lower body strength to consistently take over reps downhill and can get worked upright after contact. At contact, Mauch occasionally fails to latch, sometimes grazing and slipping past opponents on the move.

Overall, Mauch has room to keep getting stronger at the NFL level, and his Senior Bowl showing was proof of that. There were times in one-on-ones when Mauch failed to stymy rushes at contact and anchor effectively. Mauch isn’t a liability in terms of strength, but his play strength can be exposed when rushers get inside his torso or are able to out-reach him at contact.

At 6’5″, Mauch sometimes plays too tall while mirroring rushers to the apex. And when he’s upright and has his hands too wide at contact, he can be easy to topple off-balance against opposing power. This can be exacerbated further when Mauch occasionally exits phase in pass protection while mirroring. While his footwork is generally exceptional, he sometimes staggers his feet a bit, impeding his balance at contact.

Lastly, Mauch does show slight hip stiffness at the apex at times. He can’t always successively rotate his base while matching arcing rushers. With his hands, he sometimes extends a bit too early and lurches — an imperfection NFL rushers will be able to exploit.

Current Draft Projection for North Dakota State OT Cody Mauch

Mauch is in line to be the next early-round FCS offensive tackle in the NFL draft. On my board, he grades out as a top-75 prospect who could field consideration anywhere in the Day 2 range, depending on where teams project him at the next level.

Mauch might not go as high as fellow FCS lineman Cole Strange did in the 2022 NFL Draft cycle, but he has the tools and disposition to be a coveted prospect within the top 75 picks. Mauch is an absolutely powerful finisher at the point of attack who explodes off the line and moves very easily in space. He’s a road-grader on the ground who also flashes good footwork, hand usage, and leverage management in pass protection.

As a tackle in pass protection, Mauch’s below-average proportional length and non-elite play strength are issues at times. That length, in particular, is something he’ll always have to combat against longer NFL defenders. That said, Mauch does appear to have the athleticism and operational skills necessary to counteract his length if he stays at tackle.

All this being said, Mauch’s athleticism, power, and mean streak would all translate incredibly well at guard. He’d have to get stronger no matter what, but his explosiveness, power, and physicality would be a potentially dominant combination on the interior. His easy mobility would afford him scheme versatility and pulling ability.

Ultimately, I think Mauch has a good projection whether you put him at tackle or guard. He’s a bulldozer in the run game and is an underrated pass protector with competent technique. He has impact-starter potential as long as he keeps honing his game and solidifying his frame.

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