Per a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Michigan defensive tackle Mazi Smith will declare for the 2023 NFL Draft.
Michigan’s All-Big 10 standout defensive tackle Mazi Smith is entering the 2023 NFL Draft, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 9, 2023
The 6-foot-3, 337 pound Smith first made an impact in the 2021 season, when Jim Harbaugh described him as a “power pack” for the Wolverines’ defense. Starting all 14 games that season, Smith recorded 37 tackles — 2 1⁄3 for a loss — four pass breakups, and four quarterback hurries. For his work, Smith was All-Big Ten honorable mention and recieved the team’s Richard Katcher Award for best defensive lineman or outside linebacker.
Prior to this season, Bruce Feldman of The Athletic listed smith at the top of his annual “athletic freaks” list, due to a combination of Smith’s size, speed and power. Smith once again started all 14 games Michigan played in 2022, and recorded 48 tackles — 2.5 for a loss — .5 sacks, one forced fumble and recovery, and one quarterback hurry. Following the season, he was a consensus first team All-Big Ten selection and named the team’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Smith is currently graded out as a third round pick, and had one year of eligibility remaining in college football.