From now until the 2023 NFL Draft begins, the staff at CHGO Sports will be “Making The Case” for prospects the Chicago Bears should consider drafting.
The Bears need to make some upgrades on offense for Justin Fields to have any chance of progressing in 2023. One way that would immediately help Fields and the passing attack is by upgrading the offensive line.
North Dakota State offensive lineman Cody Mauch could be exactly what the Bears need.
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Even though Mauch walked on to the North Dakota State football team as a tight end, he seemed destined to play on the offensive line. The 6-foot-6, 301-pound left tackle plays consistently with physicality and great effort. He has that “nasty” mentality that general manager Ryan Poles covets in his offensive lineman.
He may have lost a step or two since he was a 221-pound freshman tight end, but he’s still fluid in his movement skills, especially when he goes to the second level to block linebackers. Mauch also plays with clean footwork and takes good angles when he is asked to pull and be a lead block to seal the edge.
Throughout the 2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl practices, Mauch was one of the most consistent players at any position. Despite coming from an FBS school, he matched the intensity from the other Power 5 participants and did so while playing at all five positions on the offensive line. Mauch was voted by his peers as the National Team’s OL Practice Player-of-the-Week.
The biggest question with Mauch is what spot on the offensive line would best suit him in the NFL. Although he played left tackle at North Dakota State, he does only have 32 3/8 arms — which isn’t ideal and puts him at a disadvantage at the tackle position. So Mauch is likely to move inside at guard or potentially center depending on the team and its needs.
Additionally, his strength to anchor and power at the point of attack are other areas of his game that will be tested at the NFL level.
There were also times he was a bit out of control when asked to block linebackers or was the lead block after pulling. His speed and fluid movement will no doubt help him in the NFL, but he does need to take controlled steps and trust the angles he takes when blocking.
Why Shoudl The Bears Draft Cody Mauch?
Mauch may be moving from left tackle to play at guard or center at the NFL, but he still plays the physicality and movement skills that would be a much-needed upgrade for the Bears’ offensive line.
The Bears would save $5.8 million if they were to cut left guard Cody Whitehair before June 1. Mauch would be a good replacement to take that position if the Bears decide to go with a younger option at the position.