Former Michigan star defensive tackle Mazi Smith is expected to be selected in the early rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft. Smith was a force to be reckoned with during his collegiate career, featuring in 35 games, making 28 starts, and securing 88 tackles, including 39 solo tackles. Smith was a consensus first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2022, making him one of Michigan’s most vital players on defense during the past two seasons.
Standing at 6-foot-3 and weighing 323 pounds, Smith is regarded as one of the best run-stuffers in college football. His impressive stats have earned him recognition as a Top-5 interior defensive lineman in this year’s draft, and he could become a plus starter in the NFL.
With a bench press performance of 34 reps at the NFL combine, Smith’s strength and the ability to stop the run in a stout manner will have him quickly rising up draft boards. Although scouts perceive Smith as a two-down player who will have to improve his pass-rushing prowess to receive every-down playing time, he could be drafted in the first round, owing to his immense upside.
Smith’s average arm length and legal troubles, which were later resolved, might affect his draft status, and he might be a second or third-round selection. Smith is projected to provide immediate solid depth as part of a rotation on running downs, making him an impact player right out of the gate.
In conclusion, Smith is an intriguing prospect and it’s highly likely he will continue to improve and stick around in the NFL for ten years or more. Given the right training and opportunity, he could become a dominant force in the game.