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Cowboys draft 2023: New Dallas DT Mazi Smith was number one on Bruce Feldman’s ‘Freak List’

The Cowboys just landed quite the athlete.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 03 Big 10 Championship - Michigan vs Purdue Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys spent the 26th overall pick on Michigan defensive tackle Mazi Smith on Thursday night. For the first time in forever, shout out to Frozen, the Cowboys took a DT in the first round. These are crazy times.

What’s more is that the Cowboys didn’t just take any sort of defensive tackle, they took one of the most athletic players in the entire draft class. We have screamed for years for the Cowboys to invest in an elite run defender and they have finally done so, and done so in a real way. This isn’t a cast off or a bargain-bin free agent, this is a top of the line defensive tackle who can do it all.

That is the thing about Smith. He can quite literally do it all.

You may be aware that Bruce Feldman compiles an annual ‘Freak List’ where he identifies college football players who quite simply are athletic marvels. Mazi Smith was number one.

His former teammate, Aidan Hutchinson, almost was our top guy in 2021, but this year a Wolverine is the No. 1 Freak in college football. The 6-foot-3, 337-pound senior has rare power and agility. So rare, in fact, it’s hard to find the right superlative to begin with. But let’s start with this: 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. The fastest was 7.33. Smith’s 60-yard shuttle time is 11.90.

The Wolverines do a reactive plyo stairs test, which is a series of seven 26-inch high stairs that players attempt to jump up as fast as possible. The team record is 2.21 seconds. Smith did it in 2.82. To better gauge just how impressive that is, Hutchinson, some 60 pounds lighter than Smith, did it in 2.57.

These are insane numbers, but it hits differently when you see what he can do in action.

The Cowboys have a new monster in the middle of a defensive line that has players like Micah Parsons, DeMarcus Lawrence, Dorance Armstrong and Sam Williams on the outside.

A rising tide lifts all boats.

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