Michigan football’s Mazi Smith selected by Dallas in first round of NFL draft

Smith taken with No. 27 overall pick

Mazi Smith #58 of the Michigan Wolverines attempts to tackle Nicholas Singleton #10 of the Penn State Nittany Lions during the first half of a college football game at Michigan Stadium on October 15, 2022 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Aaron J. Thornton, 2022 Getty Images)

ANN ARBOR, Mich.Michigan football defensive tackle Mazi Smith was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the NFL draft on Thursday.

Smith had 49 total tackles with 26 assisted tackles, 23 solo tackles, one sack, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery for the men in maize.

Smith at 6′3″ 323 pounds is a massive defensive lineman that will bring good fortunes to Cowboys nation.

Although fans in Ann Arbor are excited for their guy, his new teammate might be more excited to add him to his already stout defense.

“We’re going to work with his get off first,” said fellow linebacker Micah Parsons. “But he (Smith) is what we need.”

FILE - Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (11) gestures to fans after the team's NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams on Oct. 9, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. San Francisco 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa, Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones and Parsons are the finalists for AP Defensive Player of the Year. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong) (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Smith, a Grand Rapids native who went to East Kentwood High School, spent the last four seasons with the Wolverines, emerging as a full-time starter in 2021 and a team captain in 2022.

Over the past two seasons, Smith has started all 28 games for Michigan, racking up 75 tackles and five tackles for loss. He’s one of the best defensive linemen against the run in the entire draft class.

Smith was a consensus All-Big Ten First-Team selection as a senior in 2022. He was also named the team’s defensive player of the year.

Michigan won back-to-back Big Ten titles with Smith as a full-time starter, blowing out Ohio State in both 2021 and 2022 to reach the College Football Playoff. The Wolverines went a combined 25-3 over that span after struggling during the COVID-shortened 2020 season.

Smith had some trouble off the field last October, when he was pulled over with a weapon in his car. He was initially charged with a felony for carrying a concealed weapon, but he ultimately received 12 months of probation for misdemeanor gun possession.

This is the fifth year in a row Michigan has had a player selected in the first round of the NFL draft.

  • 2019: Devin Bush (10th), Rashan Gary (12th)
  • 2020: Cesar Ruiz (24th)
  • 2021: Kwity Paye (21st)
  • 2022: Aidan Hutchinson (2nd), Daxton Hill (31st)

About the Authors:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.