Getting it right in the NFL draft and choosing the right collegiate prospects is a tall task for any NFL team and some are better at this than others. Thankfully for the Cleveland Browns, they’ve been improving in this area as of late — and this needs to continue in 2023 as they aim to get back to the postseason.
Cleveland needs to address both sides of the ball with defensive tackle and safety being the prime spots on defense. As for the offense, they also need to address the line while also looking for more depth at tight end.
With that being said, let’s take some time to focus on offense and look at five potential gems to zero in on.
No. 5 Cleveland Browns potential draft gem: Cody Mauch, OL, North Dakota State
The Browns still have a lot of questions in regard to their offensive line, especially with their left tackle position. Jedrick Wills, a former No. 10 overall selection, is entering year four with the Browns. Wills, who transitioned from right tackle to left in the NFL, will be the starter again in 2023 but there’s real speculation about his future.
If they’re not sold on him going forward, Cleveland could consider Cody Mauch from North Dakota State as a potential replacement.
There’s been a lot of buzz around Mauch as the small school kid is becoming an internet favorite. He’s had an outstanding career and should be a player to watch, especially in the upcoming Senior Bowl.
Mauch stands in at 6-foot-6 and weighs roughly 305 pounds. He’s considered to be very good with his footwork, his lateral movement, and his ability to stay down on his blocks.
He’s very good at protecting the quarterback, and rarely gives up sacks or pressures. Some projections have Mauch going anywhere between the second to fourth rounds.
The fact that he’s coming from a smaller program creates some concern, but we’ve already seen such players have success, including Mauch’s former teammate Christian Watson, a second-round pick for Green Bay this past season.