Drafted: ROUND: 1 - Pick Number: 26 (DAL)
Draft Profile: BioMazi Smith from East Kentwood High School was rated a 4-star recruit by ESPN and handed a 4-star grade by 247 Sports. After high school, Smith joined Michigan after being heavily recruited.
In 2019 as a freshman and a sophomore Smith played just six games combined and saw little action
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.
Honors & awards
- 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)
- Appeared in 35 games during his career with 28 starts
- ESPN four-star prospect, ranked the No. 38 player overall and No. 2 defensive tackle nationally
- Invited to play in the 2019 Under Armour All-American Game
- Named to the 2018 Detroit News Dream Team
- Named to 2017 Detroit Free Press Division 1 All-State Team
- Two-time Detroit News Division 1-2 All-State Team (2017-18)
Scouting Report: Strengths
- 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. He broad-jumped 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.
- Not just a run defender - has some well-established pass rush moves, and his powerful hands enable him to drive blockers backward
- Smith plays with leverage and brings good power, especially in his lower body, consistently holding up against double teams in the run game.
Scouting Report: Weaknesses
- 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
Player ComparisonMore athletic D.J. Reader
Scouting Report: SummaryMazi Smith is a quality nose tackle prospect with prototypical measurables for the position at 6-3 and a huge 337lbs, he, however, isn't just your typical unathletic NT who just stands there and clogs running lanes - this guy can move... fast.
His upside is sky-high - rarely do we see a prospect with this combination of power, size, and speed. He's not perfect as a technician, but it's nothing that can't be cleaned up at the next level, and then there's the misdemeanor which can't be overlooked. Although at least to us - seemed to be more of a temporary aberration rather than an established pattern of behavior - so will unlikely affect his draft stock.
Expect his stock to rise significantly after the combine where he should put on a show and catapult himself into the first day of the NFL draft. Smith has a chance to dominate in the NFL and become a long-time starter if placed in the right scheme.
Mazi Smith percentiles vs other Defensive Linemen (NFL Combine historically - higher value represents better perfomance)
Mazi Smith Three Minute Video Review
Courtesy of NFL Draft Buzz contributor Steven Wright
How other scouting services rate Mazi Smith (Overall Rank)
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