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NFL Mock Draft Roundup: Could a Wolverine get drafted in Round 1?

A few Wolverines are trending upward.

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NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Texas Christian at Michigan Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Super Bowl is now behind us and all 32 teams have turned their focus to the upcoming NFL Draft. We still have college pro days and the NFL Combine, but we are starting to get a stronger understanding of who may go in the first couple of rounds.

But where are the Michigan Wolverines projected to go? Here are some recent mocks and prospect rankings that feature some guys who wore the maize and blue.

The Athletic

Dane Brugler updated his top-100 prospects and several writers from The Athletic’s college football staff dropped their first round mock draft just after the Super Bowl. Luckily, we have some new faces from Michigan on both.

First, lets take a peak at his top-100:

  • Mazi Smith, No. 38 overall

“The No. 1 player on Bruce Feldman’s Freaks List, Mazi Smith has a rare combination of power and athletic traits. He probably will never be a lineman who fills up the stat sheet, but he is an immovable object in the run game and has the heavy hands and upper-body strength to toss massive guards.”

  • DJ Turner, No. 76 overall
  • Mike Morris, No. 85 overall
  • Luke Schoonmaker, No. 100 overall

Michigan is projected to have two third round picks and a fourth-rounder by Brugler’s rankings, and this might be as high as I have seen Schoonmaker ranked. I think all four of these guys could jump up a lot of boards if they have a strong combine, as all of them produced rather well in Ann Arbor.

As for the mock draft, despite Smith being ranked as the No. 38 overall player by Brugler, the staff has him as a first-rounder. Chris Vannini had the New Orleans Saints pick at No. 29 and snagged the big fella from Michigan.

“The Saints got back into the first round thanks to the Sean Payton trade, and they need to reload inside with four defensive tackles potentially heading to free agency. Smith could be the perfect answer with his unique mix of size, strength and speed at 6-foot-3, 337 pounds,” said Vannini. “He was No. 1 on Bruce Feldman’s Freaks List heading into the 2022 season, and he is going to light up the combine at the end of the month. At Michigan, he earned All-Big Ten First Team honors in 2022. He needs to improve his pass rush and his consistency, and the Saints will need to do their due diligence on a gun charge from an October traffic stop (he pled guilty to a misdemeanor), but his ceiling is incredibly high”


We’ve had two mock drafts from the four letter network in February. This first was a two-rounder from Matt Miller where two Wolverines appear.

“The selection of quarterback C.J. Stroud in Round 1 would give the Panthers an anchor, but now the team must find answers throughout the rest of the roster. Scouts expect Turner to be one of the winners of the combine, thanks to his world-class speed and agility. The Panthers have Jaycee Horn on one side and Donte Jackson in the slot, and adding Turner would make this a formidable young cornerback group.”

“The Browns’ first pick in the 2023 draft aims to shore up holes in the defense. Smith is one of the most impressive movers in the defensive tackle class and has NFL scouts talking about his rare short-area burst and power. However, 6-3, 337-pound Smith had just one sack in 2022, and teams will be doing their homework on his misdemeanor gun possession charge from October.”

This is the first time I have seen a mock where Smith was not the first Michigan player picked. Interior defensive line and corner are deep in the first couple rounds, so it wouldn’t be extremely surprising for a corner-needy team to draft Turner before Smith, but I still think Smith goes first.

Todd McShay has mentioned a few times over the last couple weeks that Smith could go in the late part of the first round. In his first mock after the Super Bowl, he had a similar sentiment with the Los Angeles Chargers pick at No. 21 saying, “It’d be great to get the Chargers a defensive tackle to plug up a horrid run defense that allowed a league-high 5.4 yards per carry in 2022, but the value just isn’t there. The next DTs on my board are Baylor’s Siaki Ika, Michigan’s Mazi Smith and Wisconsin’s Keeanu Benton, all of whom look like early Day 2 prospects.”

Instead, he had the Chargers selecting cornerback Cam Smith from South Carolina, but it has been nice to see Smith continue to get some first round love.

Chad Reuter from dropped his first three-round mock draft of the year with notably fewer Wolverines than some of the other predictions we have seen. Here’s what he’s got:

  • Mazi Smith, No. 42 overall - Cleveland Browns
  • Mike Morris, No. 79 overall - Indianapolis Colts

This goes right in line with The Athletic’s prediction of Morris around the 80 overall mark. It would be a lot of fun for the Colts to draft him because it would put him on the opposite end of another former Wolverine, Kwity Paye.

It’s no surprise two analysts have the Browns going with Smith, either, as it’s one of the most common landing spots I’ve seen for him. Cleveland gave up the sixth-most rushing yards per game in the NFL last season, and Smith could help plug some holes in the middle.