2023 NFL Draft

Senior Bowl Interview: North Dakota State OL Cody Mauch’s Throwback Mentality Fits Pittsburgh

Cody Mauch

North Dakota State’s Cody Mauch has become a cult hero within the draft community. With his long flowing red hair and missing front teeth, it’s easy to spot Mauch anytime he’s on or off the field. He has a fun story coming into NDSU as a tight end and gaining 80+ pounds over his four years in Fargo as he slowly transitioned from tight end to tackle eligible to his final home at left tackle, where he started 27 consecutive games over his last two seasons.

Now, Mauch is looking to make another position change as he enters the NFL. Due to his lack of length, measuring in with 32 1/8″ arms, Mauch has been moved inside for the Senior Bowl as most teams see him as a better fit as a guard or center. Outside of getting a few reps at guard at NDSU, it’s all new to Mauch but he’s taking it in stride.

“I definitely could see myself there [guard]. I thought it was actually an alright day, especially for the first time doing Guard. Obviously, stuff to work on. I think if it would’ve been a perfect day, I still say there’s stuff to work on, so I’m excited about the start and now just we’ll see how we can finish.”

The word “finish” comes up a lot when talking to Mauch and if you turn on his tape it’s easy to see why. He’s constantly working to finish blocks and bury guys into the ground. It’s something he takes pride in and is a mentality he won’t be shaking anytime soon.

“I like finishing people on the ground too, in any capacity I could finish a block, whether it’s through the whistle or finish a guy on the ground, I’m gonna do that.”

Mauch worked mostly as a guard on day one of the Senior Bowl practices but said he’ll be taking snaps later in the week. That versatility will be attractive to many teams trying to shore up their interior offensive lines. While Mauch is showing off his position versatility, he believes he’s also able to offer team’s scheme versatility due to his finisher’s mentality.

“I think, not even looking at what scheme I would fit because I think I could fit a gap scheme or zone scheme, anything like that. I think just the way I said is if you have the mentality of just finishing all the time, I think it’s gonna pay off for any team.”

For a team like the Pittsburgh Steelers that is getting back to the ground game and old-school football, there may not be a better personality fit in the draft than Mauch. His blue-collar attitude would fit the city of Pittsburgh well, but he also comes from a run-heavy scheme at NDSU and is itching to carry those run-blocking skills to the next level.

“I think any offensive lineman, it’s their dream to run the ball all the time. You know, in North Dakota State we ran the ball probably 50 times a game. Like there’s nothing better than that.”

There are still two days left of the Senior Bowl to evaluate Mauch’s transition to the interior, but with his position flexibility and grind-it-out mentality, it wouldn’t shock me if the Steelers looked his way to shore up the depth of their interior offensive line in the middle rounds. He’d be a bit of a project for Offensive Line Coach Pat Meyer, but with the possibility of the team running it back with the same five starters upfront in 2023, it would allow Mauch to take some time and learn the ropes.

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