2023 NFL Draft: Top 10 Interior Defensive Linemen and their fits with the Atlanta Falcons
No. 7: Mazi Smith, Michigan
2022: 14 Games Played, 48 Tackles, 2.5 Tackles for Loss, 0.5 Sacks, 1 QB Hurries, 1 Fumble Recovered
2021: 14 Games Played, 37 Tackles, 2.5 Tackles for Loss, 3 QB Hurries, 4 Pass Deflections
2020: 5 Games Played, 3 Tackles, 1.0 Tackles for Loss
2019: 2 Games Played
Mazi Smith is someone who is more athletic than how he tested and has ideal size and speed qualities for the nose tackle position. He's got a ton of power, but he can also get after the quarterback with his pass-rush move set. Smith needs to marry the upper and lower body a bit more with his technique. He has better success with twists and stunts that some teams don't like to run. The former Wolverine needs to get better at reading the running game—especially against zone.
Smith also needs to get better at shooting through the gaps when they appear. He is able to help keep the linebackers clean and would be a good fit for the Falcons and their scheme under Ryan Nielsen. He would likely rotate with Eddie Goldman at nose tackle and eventually be the starter at nose tackle after a season or two. Atlanta could get him in the third or fourth round and have one of the better run-stuffing nose tackles in the league.