Bison in the 2023 NFL Draft

Cody Mauch: 2nd Rd 48th Overall (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) 

On Friday, April 28, 2023, North Dakota State offensive lineman Cody Mauch was selected in the 2nd round and 48th overall in the 2023 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mauch was the 17th pick to have his name announced by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Friday in Kansas City, Mo., as Mauch and those at his watch party in his hometown Hankinson, N.D. rejoiced. 

This is the second straight year that an NDSU lineman after his sixth season was drafted after his sixth season. Cordell Volson was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in last year’s draft. Both players are from small towns in North Dakota; Volson from Drake and Mauch from Hankinson. 

Incredibly, Mauch did not come to NDSU as an offensive lineman or on scholarship for that matter. Mauch came to NDSU as a preferred walk-on tight end. During his redshirt season in 2017, Mauch was listed as 6’4” and 234 pounds. Five years later, Mauch has added two inches and 69 pounds as he now stands 6’6” and weighs 303 pounds.  

The newest member of the Bucs also recorded nice numbers at both the NFL Combine and NDSU Pro Day. Mauch ran a 5.08 40-yard dash, 7.33 seconds 3-cone, and logged 29 reps on the bench press. He was also measured with 9.6-inch hands, 3.38-inch arms, and a 79.48-inch wingspan. He also improved his 3-cone time at NDSU’s Pro Day to 7.12 seconds. 

NFL Analyst Lance Zierlein said in his combine report that Mauch’s short arms and inconsistent footwork could cause him to move to guard which looks to be the case. However, that may fit him well as he’s an incredible run blocker who can sustain his blocks to the second level. Among other strengths like a strong demeanor, toughness, and loose hips, Mauch should bode well as Tampa’s right guard. 

Mauch will join a Todd Bowles-led Buccaneers team that has made the postseason three seasons in a row including two-straight NFC South titles following a Super Bowl victory as a wild-card team in the 2020 season. After Tom Brady’s retirement, the two remaining quarterbacks for the Bucs are Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask for Mauch to protect.  

Prep Career

– Graduated from Hankinson High School in 2017 (ND) 

– Played QB, TE, and DE 

– Team captain as junior and senior 

– 2x All-Region and All-State 

– Region Co-Senior Athlete of the Year 

– 1,072 career receiving yards  

– School record for sacks in a season (18.5) and career 

– School record for receiving touchdown in a season (13) and career (24) 

– Participated in basketball, baseball, and track 

– 2nd Team All-State and all-region selection in basketball 

– State qualifier in track 

College Career

2017: Redshirt as tight end 

2018: 6 games played 

2019: 16 games; 2-Pt Conv. reception; Special Teams’ unit member 

2020: Started 9 games; Graded 91%; 1 sack allowed; 1 flag (All-MVFC 2nd Team) 

2021: Started 15 games: Graded 92%, 1 sack allowed; (All-MVFC 1st Team, 2nd Team All-American) 

2022: Started 15 games; Graded 94%, zero sacks allowed; (All-MVFC 1st Team, 1st Team All-American) 

– 2021 HERO Sports All-American 3rd Team 

– 2022 FCS Offensive Lineman of the Year 

– 2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl 

– Finished 8th in 2022 Walter Payton Award Voting 

– Fifth straight year NDSU player drafted; 14th overall in last 20 DI-era 

– First NDSU player drafted by Tampa Bay 

– 6th Highest drafted NDSU player ever 

– Bison were 78-8 with four national titles during his time at NDSU 

– Graduated in Dec ’21 with agricultural and biosystems engineering degree


Noah Gindorff: Seattle Seahawks (Undrafted) 

After going undrafted through seven rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft, former North Dakota State tight end Noah Gindorff signed with the Seattle Seahawks. Shortly after the draft ended, the 6’6” 266 lbs. Crosby, Minn. native was picked up by Seattle and will join Pete Carroll’s tight end room of Noah Fant, Will Dissly, Colby Parkinson, and Tyler Mabry. 

Gindorff started the 2022 season fresh off an injury by recording three catches for 44 yards including a 24-yard touchdown. Two games later, played his final career game in a 31-28 loss at Arizona where he recorded 3 receptions for 30 yards. Was then ruled out for the season after having a procedure to address the injury in 2021. 

Due to the injury, Gindorff did not participate in many Pro Day or Combine activities. However, he did measure in with 10” hands, 34.18” arms, and a 79.68” wingspan. He also put up 16 reps on the bench at the combine and improved that to 20 at NDSU’s Pro Day on March 29. Gindorff was analyzed by Lance Zierlein as having below-average pass-catching athletic traits but has plenty of potential as a blocker. He has excellent hand placement and footwork. 

Prep Career

– Graduated from Crosby-Ironton High School in 2017 (MN) 

– Played QB, TE, LB, S, kicker, and holder 

– All-conference in 2014 and 2015 – All-district and all-state in 2016 

– Career: 7 Rec – 193 Yds, 2 TD; 2,822 Pass yds 28 TD; 3,318 Rush Yds, 43 TD  

– School record for all-purpose yards in a season (2,348) and career (6,333) 

– Conference MVP, team captain 1,000-point career scorer in basketball 

– All-section performer and team captain in baseball

College Career

2017: Redshirt 

2018: Played in 12 games; Special Teams’ unit member 

2019: 10 Rec 170 Yards 6 TD 

2020: 11 Rec 85 Yds 3 TD (All-MVFC 2nd Team) 

2021: 17 Rec 193 Yds 2 TD (All-MVFC HM) 

2022: 6 Rec 74 Yds 1 TD (3 Games) 

Career: 44 Rec 522 Yds 12 TD 

– 2023 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl 

– 2021 HERO Sports 3rd Team All-American 

– Missed final 3 games in 2021 with ankle injury 

– Missed final 15 games in 2022 with similar ankle injury 

– First five career catches were touchdowns 

– Bison were 78-8 with four national titles during his time at NDSU 

– Joins former Bison Josh Babicz and Ben Ellefson as undrafted TEs in NFL 

– Graduated in Dec ’21 with accounting degree 

– Dad also a former free agent signee with Bucs and Vikings 

Spencer Waege: San Francisco 49ers (Undrafted) 

Also going undrafted, former North Dakota State defensive end Spencer Waege signed with the San Francisco 49ers. Shortly after the draft ended, the 6’5” 282 lbs. South Shore, S.D. native was picked up by the Niners and will join the likes of Nick Bosa, Javon Hargrave, Javon Kinlaw, and Arik Armstead on the defensive line. 

Waege did participate in NDSU’s Pro Day and measured in at 6’5” 295 lbs. with 10” hands, 32.38” arms, and a 79.38” wingspan. He ran a 4.85 40-yard dash, 4.44 shuttle, 9’1” broad jump, 32” vertical, and had 23 reps on the bench. 

Prep Career

– Graduated from Watertown HS in 2017 (SD) 

– Three-year starting DE 

– Team captain as senior 

– All-conference as senior 

– 104 Career Tackles; 10.5 Sacks, 1 INT, 4 blk punts 

College Career:

2017: Redshirt 

2018: 15 games; 22 Tck; 4.5 TFL; 1.5 Sacks; 1 FR (MVFC All-Newcomer Team) 

2019: 15 games; 40 Tck; 11 TFL; 5.5 Sacks; 2 FF (MVFC Honorable Mention) 

2020: 9 games; 21 Tck; 8 TFL; 4.5 Sacks; 4 PD (All-MVFC 1st Team) 

2021: 3 games; 4 Tck; 1 TFL 

2022: 15 games; 51 Tck; 17.5 TFL; 9 Sacks; 2 FF (All-MVFC 1st Team) 

Career: 57 games; 138 Tck; 42 TFL; 20.5 Sacks; 5 FF; 2 Blk 

– 2023 Hula Bowl 

– 13th in Buck Buchanan Award Voting 

– 2022 FCS 1st Team All-American 

– Missed final 12 games in 2021 due to injury 

– Tied for 6th in NDSU history with 42 TFL 

– Joins Brayden Thomas as Bison DEs to sign in NFC West in back-to-back years 

– Bison were 78-8 with four national titles during his time at NDSU 

– Graduated in 2021 with a general agriculture degree 

Nash Jensen: Carolina Panthers (Undrafted) 

The last of the Bison thus far to be signed as an undrafted free agent is the 6’4” 322 lbs. guard from Maple Grove, Minn., Nash Jensen. The Bison left guard in 2022, who played next to Cody Mauch, was picked up by Frank Reich and the Panthers. The Carolina O-line will now be challenged with protecting the first overall pick in this year’s draft Bryce Young. 

Jensen joins an impressive crew of linemen from NDSU now in the NFL. That includes Cody Mauch, Cordell Volson, Zack Johnson, Billy Turner, Joe Haeg, and Dillon Radunz. Jensen was a sixth-year senior in 2022 just like Mauch, Gindorff, and Waege, and has been a four-year starter at guard dating back to the 2019 national championship team. He started 55 games for his career and played in 70 overall, which is believed to be an NCAA record. In his NDSU career, he has only missed one game due to injury. 

On March 29, Jensen participated in NDSU’s Pro Day attended by many NFL teams. Jensen measured in at 6’4” and 322 lbs. with 9.3” hands, 33.18” arms, and a 78.58” wingspan. He also recorded times of 8.01 in the 3-cone and 4.66 in the shuttle. Also 8’4” in the broad jump, 27” vertical, and 33 reps on the bench. 

Prep Career

– 2017 graduate of Osseo High School (MN) 

– Three-year starter on offensive line 

– Played all three o-line positions, TE, FB, and DE 

– 150+ pancake blocks over those three seasons 

– All-conference as junior – State 6A champions in 2015 

– Participated in basketball 

College Career:

2017: Redshirt 

2018: 15 games; Special Teams’ unit member 

2019: Started 16 games (HERO Sports FCS Sophomore All-American Team) 

2020: Started 10 games at left guard 

2021: Started 15 games at left guard 

2022: Started 15 games; graded 92%, zero flags (All-MVFC 1st Team; 1st team All-American) 

– 7th former NDSU offensive lineman currently in NFL 

– 2023 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl 

– 2022 Stats Perform FCS 2nd Team All-American 

– Bison were 78-8 with four national titles during his time at NDSU 

– Graduated in 2022 with physical education degree 

Hunter Luepke: Dallas Cowboys (Undrafted) 

After the 2023 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys signed former Bison fullback Hunter Luepke as an undrafted free agent. Luepke, the 6’1” 236 lbs. Spencer, Wis. native, will join a Cowboys team that went 12-5 in 2022 and will likely be a key lead blocker for running back Tony Pollard. Salary includes $180,000 guaranteed plus a $20,000 signing bonus. 

Luepke was having a terrific season during his fifth year at NDSU as he was a touchdown machine reaching the end zone 13 times in 10 games. However, the Walter Payton Award finalist missed the final five games of the season due to a shoulder injury. 

Luepke’s biggest strengths as analyzed by NFL experts are his versatility as he is both a bruising runner and savvy route runner. He has above athletic ability and explosiveness, has sticky hands, plus ball-tracking, is a persistent runner, and has special teams experience. At NDSU’s Pro Day Luepke ran a 4.57 40-yard dash, 7.03 3-cone, and 4.31 shuttle. He also had a broad jump of 9’9”, 36.5” vertical, and measured in with 9.6” hands, 32” arms, and a 76.18” wingspan. He did not participate in the bench press. 

Prep Career

– 2018 graduate of Spencer High School (WI) 

– Four-year starter – Two-year captain 

– Played RB, LB, DE, and KR 

– Three-time 1st Team all-conference RB 

– Career; 4,452 rush yds 82 TD; All-purpose; 5,770 Yds 95 TD 

– 171 career tackles; 10 sacks 

– Conference Offensive Player of the Year as a sophomore and senior 

– Regional Offensive Player of the Year as senior – 1st Team All-Region LB as junior  

– Four-time conference champion & three-time state-qualifier wrestler 

– Two-time wrestling state champ; 49-0 in senior year 

– 195 lbs. champ as junior; 220 lbs. champ as senior 

– Three-time all-conference centerfielder in baseball 

– Conference champion in the 100-meter dash 

College Career:

2018: Redshirt 

2019: 14 games; 5 Car 43 Yds, 1 TD; 11 Rec 196 Yds, 1 TD; (All-MVFC HM) 

2020: 6 games; 84 Car 458 Yds 6 TD (All-MVFC 1st Team; 1st Team AA) 

2021: 87 Car 543 Yds 8 TD; 9 Rec 165 Yds 3 TD (All-MVFC 1st Team; 1st Tm AA) 

2022: 98 Car 621 Yds, 9 TD; 14 Rec 196 Yds, 4 TD (All-MVFC 1st Team 1st Tm AA) 

Career: 43 games; 274 Car 1,665 Yds, 24 TD; 38 Rec 494 Yds, 9 TD 

– 2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl 

– Finished 12th in Walter Payton Award Voting in 2022 

– 2022 Stats Perform FCS Player of the Year 

– Earned 1st Team honors in MVFC as all-purpose player in 2022 

– 2022 NCAA Championship Game Most Outstanding Player 

– 14 Car 82 Yds, 3 TD 

– 2020 HERO Sports Sophomore All-American Team 

– 2022 AP FCS 2nd Team All-American 

– Bison were 64-7 with three national titles during his time at NDSU 

– Graduated in 2022 with a finance degree 

Destin Talbert: Chicago Bears & New Orleans Saints (Rookie Minicamp Invite) 

In the week following the 2023 NFL Draft, former Bison cornerback Destin Talbert received a rookie minicamp invite from both the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints. Dates for minicamps have not been released but will be in the coming weeks. 

Granted an additional year of eligibility due to the impact of COVID-19 on the 2020 season. Ran 4.50 40-yard dash and a 6.76 seconds 3-cone at NDSU Pro Day. Measured in at 5’11” 189 lbs. with 9.18” hands, 30.68” arms, and a 72.68” wingspan. Also recorded a 40” vertical and completed 20 reps on bench press. 

Prep Career

– 2018 graduate of Hinsdale South High School (IL) 

– Three-year starter 

– Played WR, DB, and KR 

– Two-time all-conference 

– Conference Offensive MVP as senior 

– School records for both TDs and Yds in game and career 

– Participated in basketball 

College Career:

2018: 11 games; 5 Tck; Special Teams unit member 

2019: 16 games; 24 Tck; 0.5 TF; 5 PD 

2020: 10 games; 25 Tck; 5 PD 

2021: 15 games; 31 Tck; 1.5 TFL; 8 PD; 3 INT; 1 FF 

2022: 15 games; 59 Tck; 1 TFL; 7 PD; 1 INT; 1 FF; 1 Blk kick for TD 

Career: 67 games; 144 Tck; 3 TFL; 4 INT; 25 PD; 2 FF 

– Penalized just once during career which included over 2,100 career snaps 

– Made game-clinching interception against JMU in 2021 semifinal 

– Graduated in 2021 with finance degree 

Michael Tutsie: Indianapolis Colts (Rookie Minicamp Invite) 

Following six years playing strong safety at NDSU, Michael Tutsie received a Rookie Minicamp Invite from his hometown Indianapolis Colts. 

Granted an additional year in 2022, Tutsie finished off an incredible career at NDSU. He received an opportunity to participate in NDSU’s Pro Day where he measured in at 5’10” and 189 lbs. He ran a 4.58 40-yard dash, 6.87 second 3-cone, 4.12-second shuttle, and 10’1” broad jump. He also measured in with 8.5” hands, 30.28” arms, and a 71.28” wingspan. 

Prep Career

– 2017 graduate of Warren Central High School (IN) 

– Four-year starter 

– Played S and RB – Team captain senior year 

– Two-time all-conference 

– 1st team all-state as senior 

– 216 career tackles; 7 INT; 24 PD; 16 TFL; 5 FF; 8 FR 

– Competed in track 

– All-state sprinter 

College Career:

2017: Redshirt 

2018: 12 games; 17 Tck; 2 INT; 2 PD 

2019: 16 games; 105 Tck; 3.5 TFL; 7 INT; 9 PD; 1 FF (All-MVFC HM) 

2020: 10 games; 50 Tck; 2 TFL (All-MVFC 2nd Team) 

2021: 15 games; 81 Tck; 2 TFL; 1 INT; 4 PD; 1 FF (All-MVFC 1st Team) 

2022: 15 games; 85 Tck; 3 TFL; 7 PD; 1 FR (All-MVFC 1st Team) 

– 2022 FCS & Stats Perform 3rd Team All-American 

– 2021 HERO Sports 1st Team All-American 

– Made 56 consecutive starts 

– Tied for 5th in NDSU history in tackles with 338 

– 2nd in NDSU history in solo tackles with 184 

– Bison were 78-8 with four national titles during his time at NDSU 

– Graduated in 2022 with physical education 

Dawson Weber: Atlanta Falcons (Rookie Minicamp Invite) 

Coming off a career-best season in 2022 in which he was named to the All-MVFC 1st Team, former Bison safety Dawson Weber has been invited to Rookie Minicamp for the Atlanta Falcons. 

Weber participated in NDSU’s Pro Day back on March 29. Measuring in at 6’1” 198 lbs., Weber ran a 4.55 40-Yard Dash, 6.96 seconds 3-cone, 4.20 seconds shuttle, and had a broad jump of 9’3”. He also measured in with 8.6” hands, 30.28” arms, and a 71” wingspan. He also completed 13 reps on bench press. 

Prep Career

– 2017 Graduate of Pleasant Grove High School (CA) 

– Three-year starter playing DB & WR, KR, and Punter 

– Three-time all-conference 

– 171 career tackles; 13 INT; 20 PD; 99 Rec 1,427 Yds 18 TD 

– School record for career receptions, interceptions 

– Participated in baseball 

College Career:

2017: Redshirt 

2018: 10 games; 5 Tck 

2019: 16 games; 25 Tck; 1 TFL; 2 PD Special Teams Unit Member 

2020: 4 games; 12 Tck; 1 INT; 2 PD 

2021: 15 games; 50 Tck; 4 TFL; 4 INT; 8 PD; FF 

2022 15 games; 56 Tck; 3 TFL; 5 INT; 11 PD 3 FF; 2 FR (All-MVFC 1st Team) 

Career: 60 games; 148 Tck; 8.5 TFL; 10 INT; 23 PD; 5 FF; 2 FR 

– 2022 Phil Steele FCS 4th Team All-American 

– Starter in 2021 and 2022 

– Granted 6th year of eligibility due to COVID-19 

– Limited in 2020 due to injury 

– Bison were 78-8 with four national titles during his time at NDSU 

– Graduated in 2022 with sociology degree and emergency management minor 

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