The Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicked off their second day with the 50th overall pick. After addressing the defensive line on day one the Bucs turned their attention to the offensive line. This time picking North Dakota State University left tackle Cody Mauch.
Mauch has been a fan favorite across the league during this draft process. He captured the world’s attention at the Senior Bowl with his flowing red hair and his missing front teeth. In terms of looks he certainly fits the profile of what a great lineman should look like.
However, just because he looks the part doesn’t mean he’s got the goods. With so many talented players on the board, was a small school lineman really worth this pick? I took a look at what Mauch brings to the table.
Mauch is a 6th year senior who has been the Bison’s starting left tackle for the last three seasons. He gained more and more respect nationally every year and was a second team All American in 2021 and a first team All American last season. He was voted the FCS offensive lineman of the year and finished eighth in FSC offensive player of the year regardless of position.
During his time in school he was part of great running teams. North Dakota State was a top five rushing offense each of the last two years. Although he was also a good pass blocker, this was really where his presence was felt the most.
Just because Mauch is from a small school, doesn’t mean he’s just a big fish in a little pond. When he went to the Senior Bowl where he had the chance to play better competition he was one stand out players. It was the same when Mauch went to the NFL combine; he proved that he belonged.
Mauch tested like a top tier athlete at the combine. He put up great numbers in his speed, quickness and strength drills and also showed good explosion in his legs. He is a little small at 6 ‘5 and 302 lbs with just 32 inch arms, but other than that his measurables are all very good.
On The Field
In terms of mentality, Mauch brings the right temperament you want in an offensive lineman. He is constantly looking for work and when he finds it he wants to put his man on the ground. Combine that with his strength and agility and he looks like he’ll be a very good run blocker in the NFL.
In pass protection all the traits translate again. He is very fluid and can typically stay in front of his man and redirect well. He’s also got a strong anchor which allows him to body up with anyone to this point.
The one thing he really struggles with is his hand usage. He will often find his hands drifting to the shoulders or even the back as opposed to keeping them in tight and controlling his opponent’s chest. This could be due to his shorter than average arms for an offensive tackles.
According to Jason Licht, Mauch will be playing guard for the Bucs. Much like their second round pick from last year, Luke Goedeke, this means a position change in the NFL. With that will come a learning curve and growing pains.
Even with that in mind, Mauch should make a good interior lineman. He has the strength and mobility to be an above average run blocking at the next level and should see his weaknesses masked on the inside. I could see him as a day one starter next season.
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