Mazi Smith Scouting Report and NFL Draft Profile


#58, Michigan Wolverines, Defensive Tackle

2023 NFL Draft Measurements

Mazi Smith 40-Yard Dash: 4.8 (estimate)

6‘3“ / 337 lbs.


Mazi Smith Draft Profile

Mazi Smith was rated a four-star recruit coming out of East Kentwood High School in Kentwood, Michigan. While he only played sparingly during his freshman and sophomore seasons, Smith would become a full-time start heading into 2021. Over his last 2 seasons, he would start 27 of the 28 games that he played in. Over his last two seasons, Mazi racked up 88 tackles (39 solo), with 6 tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks.

Prior to the 2022 season, Smith was listed as the #1 player on Bruce Feldman’s 2022 Freak List. A successful 2022 season would see Mazi earn Michigan’s Defensive Player of the Year Award. He was also a consensus first-team All-Big Ten selection.

But not everything went perfectly for Smith during the 2022 season. I’m sure some of you are reading this because you’re wondering what Mazi Smith did to get into trouble. How will that affect his draft status heading into the 2023 NFL Draft? Well, on October 7, 2022, Mazi was pulled over for speeding. During the stop he admitted to the officers that he was illegally carrying a Glock 19 handgun. During a following search of the vehicle, it was also discovered that he had three load magazines in his car as well. Smith told officers, “I was riding around with it because people are starting to know me more and I don’t feel comfortable.”

Legal Issue

Originally charged with a felony, that charge was dismissed as Smith pleaded to a misdemeanor as part of a plea deal. He is also expected to be sentenced under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA). This allows young adults to avoid a criminal record if they successfully complete all conditions given to them by the judge. It should also be noted that Mazi was in the process of obtaining a CPL (concealed pistol license) at the time of the incident (a process he has since completed). The sentencing was pushed back all the way to January 12, 2023, and Smith has been a full participant in all Michigan football activities since the incident occurred.

The maximum sentence that Smith could see would be either up to a year in jail or a $1,000 fine. Based on all the information I’ve been able to gather, I would think that a fine with community service is the most likely outcome.



I can’t wait to watch Mazi Smith do the bench press at the 2023 NFL Combine. During the offseason at Michigan, Smith completed 22 reps on the bench press. However, those reps were at 325 pounds; players use 225 pounds at the combine. You saw this strength translate to the football field as well. Mazi holds up well at the point of attack, very rarely getting moved by just one offensive lineman. He also handles double team well, which is good considering the amount of times he was double teamed by the opponents. On multiple occasions against Maryland, I saw him hold his ground against an offensive lineman with one arm and make a tackle on a running back with the other.

Active Hands

I mentioned before that Smith holds up well at the point of attack. While his strength helps with that, another reason is that he never lets the offensive lineman get a clean hold on him. He’s constantly swatting at and moving the offensive lineman’s hands and arms. This is also a skill that he uses to help him get off blocks and disrupt plays.

Impressive Pass Rush Ability

Most defensive tackles are just there to clog up the middle of the line and take away running lanes. Most aren’t expected to make any sort of impact in the passing game. While Smith only has 0.5 sack during his time at Michigan, he actually can be really effective as a rusher. At times he shows serious explosion off the snap. He showed multiple moves, with his best being a great bull rush. During Michigan’s game versus Penn St., he was pushing their center around like he was on roller skates. He also moves well for a man of his size. He’s got no issues pulling on stunts, and even lines up a few times as a defensive end and rushed off the edge.



There’s not much not to like about Mazi Smith. My biggest issue with him is consistency. There are times when he shows why he was considered the #1 freak by Bruce Feldman. He would explode of the ball, push an offensive lineman back four or five yards, and blow up the play. But then, the next play, he’s the last to react after the snap. He doesn’t really try and beat the offensive lineman, and doesn’t give effort to run down a ball carrier. If he can improve his effort on every snap, he could be a game changer. But at this point it just potential rather than reality.

Mazi Smith Draft Stock

Luckily for Smith, I don’t think that his incident from October is really going to affect his draft status. For me, I see Mazi as an early day 2 pick. However, I fully expect him to blow the combine workouts out of the water. When that happens, don’t be surprised when the experts start bringing his name up as a potential first-round pick.

Final Thoughts on Mazi Smith

Smith is a big body that I believe can be impactful against both the run and the pass. While I personally think that he’s a better fit for a team that runs four down lineman defense, I think he could also fair well in a 3-4 scheme. Consistency was really the only thing I could see from Smith’s game that kept me from putting a first-round grade on him. Other than that, he has all the skills and traits that a team would be looking for from a NFL caliber defensive tackle.

Mazi Smith Player Comparison

Quinnen Williams. I don’t expect Smith to be a top 10 pick like Williams was. Still, I see a lot of similarities in the way both players play. This just goes to show how good Mazi could be, but the difference is consistency.


Mazi Smith Scouting Report Analyst – Brandon Claburn