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Bison OL Mauch getting NFL Draft 1st-round buzz after strong Senior Bowl showing

An ESPN NFL Draft analyst has projected North Dakota State offensive lineman Cody Mauch to get selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.

North Dakota State's Cody Mauch warms up before play against South Dakota State in the NCAA FCS title game at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023.
David Samson/The Forum

FARGO — North Dakota State offensive lineman Cody Mauch is garnering first-round buzz after a strong week at the Senior Bowl collegiate all-star football game.

Matt Miller — an NFL Draft analyst for ESPN — projected the Buffalo Bills to select Mauch at No. 27 overall in the first round in his recent mock draft.

"Mauch is coming from a lower level of competition, but his power and agility would immediately improve the Buffalo offensive line and give the team a boost in the passing and running games when the weather turns cold and this offense seems to slow down," Miller wrote.

The NFL Draft is scheduled for April 27-29 in Kansas City, Mo. The first round is slated for April 27.

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice
National offensive lineman Cody Mauch of North Dakota State (70) practices during the third day of Senior Bowl week at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile.
Vasha Hunt / USA TODAY Sports

The 6-foot-5, 305-pound Mauch primarily played left tackle during his Bison career, but could move to guard or center in the NFL. He took snaps at tackle, guard and center during Senior Bowl practices. Mauch was named offensive lineman practice player of the week for the National team .


"Mauch played left tackle at NDSU but projects on the inside in the NFL," Miller wrote. "At 6-5 and 305 pounds, he plays with toughness and strength in the run game."

Prior to the Senior Bowl, Dane Brugler, an NFL Draft analyst for "The Athletic," projected Mauch to go at No. 43 overall in the second round to the New York Jets in mid-January.

"Mauch might not have the ideal length for tackle in the NFL, but he has movement skills, hand strength and competitiveness to be an early NFL starter, regardless of position," Brugler told The Forum in mid-January. "He can be a top-50 pick."

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Pro Bowl quarterback Josh Allen leads the Bills offense, but Miller thinks a player like Mauch could help the Buffalo offense, which needs to upgrade its running game.

"The Bills' Super Bowl window is open, but for how much longer if the team fails to make investments in the run game?" Miller wrote. "There's no running back worthy of being drafted here, but there is a lineman who could help beef up the ground game."

ESPN NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. also said recently he had the Bills as a potential landing spot for Mauch, who is from Hankinson, N.D.

"I’m a big fan of Mauch ," Kiper Jr. wrote on his official Twitter account. "Almost put him to the Bills at No. 27 in my mock draft."

Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.
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