Mazi Smith talks NFL Draft prep and the 2023 Michigan defense

Mazi Smith spoke after the recent Michigan Pro Day and touched on a range of topics as he prepares for the NFL Draft.

Smith was invited to the NFL Draft Combine in Indianapolis but did not compete in any of the drills except for the bench press, where he happened to post the highest mark with 34 reps.

Smith clarified why he was unable to compete in the drills.

“Little tweaks,” Smith said. “You start training like a track star, big fella. I’m good at football, I don’t know 100-meter sprint.”

Smith did get a chance to speak with NFL teams at the combine and said he isn’t looking to tell them anything about his game.

“I’m trying to listen to what they say,” Smith said. “what they see, what I need to work. I’m really just trying to learn.”

Smith’s recent charges and eventual plea deal from a gun-related incident last year have come up during the process. Smith says he understands and has nothing to hide.

“I tell them the truth. They’re about to invest a lot of money, so they want to know the ins and outs of what you got going on, so I tell them.”

Mazi has been a force for the Michigan defense, particularly in the last two seasons. With him heading to the NFL and other players trying to fill his shoes, he says he knows exactly what is coming.

“Ain’t nobody gonna surprise me. Defense is going to be just as good if not better.”

A player Smith hyped up last offseason is getting a lot of hype again heading into 2023, Kris Jenkins. When asked about Jenkins, Mazi made it clear he has been expecting big things from Jenkins for a while.

“I’ve already been right. He going to be NFL-ready by the end of the year. He’s got traits that show all the time. He’s wired a certain way, strong will.”

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