It’s one thing to be considered a potential candidate to solidify one of the offensive line spots on the San Francisco 49ers. But one prospect at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine — and one of the more popular prospects in Indianapolis — just unveiled this advantage: A 49ers legend has prepared him for the league.
North Dakota State standout Cody Mauch, who has numerous of mock drafts believing he’ll fall to No. 99 to S.F., shared via Jordan Elliott of SB Nation on Saturday, March 4 that legendary 49ers left tackle Joe Staley has been working with him. Mauch shared the advice the six-time Pro Bowler has given him during training sessions.
“The biggest piece of advice he’s given is — and we’re talking both football stuff and techniques — is he’s so big off of running off the ball. Which, you know, is so important especially for wide zone schemes. Just getting out and running off the ball is…I’ve really tried to embrace that mentality. Especially since that’s what Joe has been teaching. I’m trying to embrace that,” Mauch said.
Staley made his living showing fluid feet in getting out of his stance and protecting the passer — earning his Pro Bowls and All-Pro accolades in the process. Mauch has been considered a possible replacement at right tackle if unrestricted free agent Mike McGlinchey isn’t resigned.
With Staley being in an analyst role with NBC Sports Bay Area, he’s seen how this 49ers offense under Kyle Shanahan operates with their zone read concepts. There’s no telling if Staley has given Mauch some tidbits of the 49er offense. But again, for a prospect who fills a need for the 49ers, Mauch again is at an advantage with a franchise legend in his corner.
Mauch Brings Unique Background, Which Includes QB
Along with getting teams fixated on Mauch’s prospects as a towering 6-foot-5, 303-pound figure, the Bison star brings two unique backgrounds to the league.
For starters, he played tight end in his native home city of Hankinson, North Dakota — where he played nine-man football. The rare nine-man prospect ended up shattering school records for career touchdowns and sacks. Mauch wasn’t just a red zone option and a pass rush specialist, he also lined up at quarterback for his high school. He also used his height on the basketball floor…and ended up losing his two front teeth during a junior high game.
He was originally committed to the Bison as a tight end — but ultimately gained 85 pounds to become a hard-nosed front line protector for the Bison. And that was also where he played with a young fast-rising NFL quarterback prospect named Trey Lance.
Mauch Compared to Super Bowl Winning OL
Mauch wasn’t just referred to as a “hockey player” with his image of a toothless long-haired athlete by Lance Zierlein of nfl.com, but the draft expert gave Mauch this comparison: Alex Cappa of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The same Cappa who protected Tom Brady while on their way to the Super Bowl 55 victory.
Outside of the comparison, Mauch shows the mauling nature that has gotten NFL teams plastering his name on their draft boards:
He brought the same nastiness in front of scouts and other NFL personnel at Mobile, Alabama for the Reese’s Senior Bowl:
The knock on Mauch per Zierlein, though, is that his arm length comes off as short for the desired wingspan for a tackle and his feet sometimes gets away from him during pass protection. And for a team that saw McGlinchey struggle with pass rushers, that can come off as a warning sign for the 49ers.
But what’s now adding to the intrigue of Mauch as a 49ers possibility is him gaining nuggets from a franchise legend — which would make him bettered prepared for S.F. compared to most 2023 OL prospects.