Draft Profile: Mazi Smith, DL, Michigan


The 2023 NFL offseason is here and that means it’s time for mock drafts, draft profiles and everything that goes with them. So without further ado, here’s one of many Draft Profiles for the 2023 NFL draft.

Mazi Smith, DL, Michigan

HT: 6’3
WT: 323 lbs


– Two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree (2020-21)
– Two-time All-Big Ten selection (consensus first team, 2022; honorable mention, coaches and media, 2021)
– Named the team’s Richard Katcher Award winner (2021) and Defensive Player of the Year (2022)
– Four-time letterwinner (2019-20-21-22)



– A massive, lane-clogging lineman, Smith brings an impressive nice blend of power and quickness considering his size. Smith shows impressive get-off, often exploding off the line and getting into gaps before blockers can react.
– Crazy athletic skills — Made Bruce Feldman’s ‘Freaks List’ at number 1. He wrote: “The 6-foot-3, 337-pound senior has rare power and agility. Smith does 22 reps on the bench press, but that’s with 325 (not 225). He close-grip benched 550 pounds. He vertical-jumps 33 inches. His broad-jumped is 9-4 1/2. Smith, who had 37 tackles last season, has clocked a 4.41 shuttle time, which would’ve tied the best by any defensive tackle at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine, and it would’ve been better than any defensive tackle weighing 310 pounds or more in the past decade. His 6.95 3-cone time would’ve been by far the fastest among defensive tackles in Indianapolis.”
– Is easily big enough to play and hold well on the nose and has the athletic ability to rush the passer as a DT
– Provides some secondary interior pass rush, getting most penetration when playing three-technique.
– He has the strong core and powerful hands to shed blockers, and he shows excellent instincts with the ability to quickly locate the ball.
– Has the lateral speed to chase down running backs and is a dominant run stopper who needs to be double-teamed
– Amazing weight-room strength, which translates onto the field in terms of his anchor.


– He’s a bit stiff, as Smith lacks the flexibility to truly threaten around the edge when playing at DT in a wide set
– Smith sometimes fails to locate the ball in the run game, too often taking himself out of plays
– Despite having impressive speed Smith lacks the elite suddenness as a mover you look for, and doesn’t do enough in the pass rush when working one-on-one
– If his first move doesn’t work Smith all too often doesn’t seem to possess a backup plan and the result looks uncordinated
– Shows a lack of quickness getting his hands high – leaving blockers time to get under his pads
– His lack of height forces him to play a little upright allowing blockers to win the leverage game
– Possible discipline red flag – pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor weapons possession charge stemming from an Oct. 7 traffic stop and arrest in 2022


In 2021 as a junior Smith played in 14 games and finally made an impact playing on 544 snaps. He recorded 29 tackles, 14 assists while making 21 stops. As a pass rusher, he produced 21 total pressures, which included 14 QB hurries, 6 QB hits, and a sack on the year.

In 2022 as a senior Smith logged playing time in 13 games and logged a total of 575 snaps for the Wolverines. He also added 36 tackles, 6 assists, and 30 stops. As a pass rusher, he tallied 23 total pressures, which included 17 QB hurries, 5 QB hits, and a sack on the season.

Information in this article first appeared on NFL Draft Buzz and is used with permission. Find the latest coverage, analysis, and player rankings for the 2023 NFL Draft at nfldraftbuzz.com


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