Bleacher Nation NFL 2023 Mock Draft: Saints Land an Interior D-Lineman
The Bleacher Nation NFL 2023 Mock Draft will be a running mock draft that spans between now and round one of the NFL Draft. Each of the 31 picks (Miami forfeited their first-round pick due to tampering) will get a dedicated post. Here’s how it’ll work:
- Every pick in the Mock Draft gets its own post. We will do one or two picks per day.
- We will link back to previous posts with a running draft recap.
- This feature will not include trades and will cover the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
The Saints are on the clock in the Bleacher Nation NFL Mock Draft …
The Pick Is In
DT Mazi Smith — Michigan
Almost every mock draft has the New Orleans Saints taking a defensive lineman with the 29th pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday. So, we’re going with the wide-bodied Mazi Smith for New Orleans. Smith boosts the Saints on the interior defensive line and the run defense.
Mazi Smith is a wide-bodied interior defensive lineman with an anchor for a lower half who can move across the defensive line but spent most of his time at Michigan at nose tackle.
The Ringer’s Danny Kelly calls Smith a run-stopping plug up the middle with powerful hands that can violently knock offensive lineman around when he has leverage:
“He plays with active, attacking hands and brings a lot of power in his punch; when he lands a jab, he can knock an offensive lineman back off his spot. [Smith] loves to use a long-arm stab move to get opponents onto their heels. He locks out his arm and runs his feet to lift them up and push them back into the pocket. He’s always swiping or clubbing away at linemen to try to keep himself clean and uses good swim and push-pull moves that leave both overaggressive guards and centers lunging.”
Here’s a look at what the Saints would be getting:
Final Thoughts: The Saints need some help up front, and with four top- edge rushers already off the board, Mazi Smith is a solid pick for Mickey Loomis and the Saints with the 29th pick.
Bleacher Nation’s 2023 NFL Mock Draft
- Carolina Panthers (via CHI) — QB C.J. Stroud, Ohio State
- Houston Texans — QB Bryce Young, Alabama
- Arizona Cardinals — EDGE Will Anderson Jr., Alabama
- Indianapolis Colts — QB Anthony Richardson, Florida
- Seattle Seahawks (via DEN) — DT Jalen Carter, Georgia
- Detroit Lions (via LAR) — EDGE Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech
- Las Vegas Raiders — QB Will Levis, Kentucky
- Atlanta Falcons — EDGE Myles Murphy, Clemson
- Chicago Bears (via CAR) — CB Devon Witherspoon, Illinois
- Philadelphia Eagles (via NO) — DT Calijah Kancey, Pitt
- Tennessee Titans — T Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State
- Houston Texans (via CLE) — WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State
- New York Jets — T Broderick Jones, Georgia
- New England Patriots — CB Christian Gonzalez, Oregon
- Green Bay Packers — TE Dalton Kincaid, Utah
- Washington Commanders — CB Deonte Banks, Maryland
- Pittsburgh Steelers — CB Joey Porter Jr., Penn State
- Detroit Lions — CB Kelee Ringo, Georgia
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers — S Brian Branch, Alabama
- Seattle Seahawks — EDGE Lukas Van Ness, Iowa
- Los Angeles Chargers — WR Jordan Addison, USC
- Baltimore Ravens — WR Zay Flowers, Boston College
- Minnesota Vikings — QB Hendon Hooker, Tennessee
- Jacksonville Jaguars — T/G Peter Skoronski, Northwestern
- New York Giants — WR Quentin Johnston, TCU
- Dallas Cowboys — RB Bijan Robinson, Texas
- Buffalo Bills — WR Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee
- Cincinnati Bengals — TE Michael Mayer, Notre Dame
- New Orleans Saints (via SF) — DT Mazi Smith, Michigan
- Philadelphia Eagles
- Kansas City Chiefs