The Cowboys drafted Michigan defensive tackle Mazi Smith in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft and here is the grade.
If you are going to win in the national football league, you need to be really good in the trenches, especially in the NFC East and that’s why you have to love the Dallas Cowboys’ selection of Mazi Smith with the No. 26 overall pick.
Smith is a guy that didn’t have much pass-rush production playing for Michigan. However, he’s as good as a nose tackle as there is in the 2023 NFL draft and when you consider the vaunted Eagles running game, this was a genius pick.
Here’s the grade for the Cowboys’ selection of Mazi Smith
At 6-foot-3, 326 pounds, Smith is a legit nose tackle that can dominate in the middle of the field. Maybe the QB sneak the Eagles made famous last season won’t work as well if they are having to dig out Mazi Smith, who is a man of a football player.
The thing about Smith is that he’s only had 0.5 sacks during his career. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the pass-rush ability, but it’s not his strength. I think he’ll do more of that at the NFL level, but in a way that Vince Wilfork did.
Smith can push the pocket but he’s not going to get tons of sacks. Still, he had 88 tackles for the Wolverines and six tackles for loss.
The Dallas Cowboys have invested a bunch of draft resources in the offensive and defensive fronts over the past decade and this was another smart pick. I wil drop the grade a little because Smith isn’t a pass rusher but for late in the first round, he’ll make a solid impact.