Cody Mauch was a 0-star rookie with no offers.  He was just drafted in the 2nd round.

The most enjoyable stories about NFL drafts tend to be the ones where players defy all odds to get to the next level. While recruiting analytics has improved dramatically over the years, coaches and recruiting experts are still missing out on diamonds in the rough. The latest example is offensive lineman Cody Mauch, a former North Dakota State University prospect who was just selected in the second round of the NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Below is a screenshot of the 247Sports recruiting page for Mauch from 2017. He has no star prospects. He had no college offers (even from NDSU, he enrolled but was not offered by the football program). He doesn’t even have a headshot on the site.

His hometown of Mantador, according to MaxPreps, has a population of just 69 people.

With no offers, Mauch transferred to North Dakota State as a tight end in 2017 and created a new profile from there. He ballooned from 220 pounds to more than 300 when he moved to the offensive line, started 39 straight games over his final three seasons and was selected by the Buccaneers with the No. 48 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Bucs traded up two spots to guarantee they can grab it.

Where did Mauch come from? How has everyone missed him?

If there was athletic activity while he was growing up, Mauch probably attended. The NDSU The website says he played tight end, quarterback and defensive end at Hankinson High School and was a two-time all-region and all-state selection. He set a school record with 13 receiving touchdowns in the 2016 championship season.

He was also an all-conference and all-region basketball player. According to the buccaneers, his knocked out two front teeth during a seventh-grade basketball game, and he doesn’t plan to replace them until his football career is over.

Mauch also played baseball and was a state qualifier in track, according to the NDSU biography.

Buccaneers vice president of player personnel John Spaitek said when interviewing prospects, they ask who is the best player they faced in college.

“The amount of D-Linemen who brought Cody Mauch out of the Senior Bowl after not knowing anything about him was astounding and is something that we always pay attention he said according to the Buccaneers website. “They think about it for a minute, put some thought into it and say, ‘That lineman from North Dakota State was really good. He was tough. He made me work.

After years of hard work, Mauch has become one of the best stories of grit and determination in this 2023 NFL Draft. He will bring that same model to the Buccaneers as he leads the offensive line.

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