One thing about Grand Rapids is we go crazy for our very own!

This moment is a big celebration for the city for sure!

The first Michigan player has officially been picked in the NFL Draft. The best part of it all is that he is from Grand Rapids.

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NFL Draft Pick

In the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, defensive tackle Mazi Smith was picked 26th overall by the Dallas Cowboys.

Cowboys Wire
Cowboys Wire

There's a parade inside my city yeah!

This moment for Mazi makes it the fifth year in a row that a player from Michigan has been selected in the NFL's first-round draft.

But this draft pick doesn't surprise people who have been keeping up with the Grand Rapids native.

According to Mel Kiper's final draft mockup, Mazi Smith had been considered a first-round prospect from the start.

In a conference call, Kiper also shared his admiration for Mazi.

"Mazi has talent. You see him, when he gets into the NFL and gets a defensive line coach that wants to work with a guy with that type of ability, he'll shine. He's just touching the surface of what he can be."

It all makes sense that the East Kentwood High School alum was a two-time all-Big Ten selection. In 2022 alone, he totaled 48 tackles, half a sack, and a forced fumble.

Michigan Draft Hopefuls

Besides Mazi Smith, a few more Michigan players are still expected to be taken in the draft.

According to the NFL Mock Draft Database, cornerback DJ Turner is expected as the 51st overall prospect.

Tight end Luke Schoonmaker was predicted to be the No. 101 overall prospect.

OC Olu Oluwatimi is predicted to be No. 131 overall prospect, with projections of going to the Houston Texans, Pittsburgh Steelers, or Denver Broncos.

Defensive end Mike Morris is predicted to be No. 167 overall prospect, with projections of going to the New Orleans Saints or the Indianapolis Colts.

Jake Moody is predicted as the No. 186 overall prospect with the potential of going to the Dallas Cowboys with Mazi, the San Francisco 49ers, or the Tennessee Titans.

Wide receiver Ronnie Bell is predicted to be the No.187 overall prospect with predictions of going to the New York Giants, Houston Texans, or the Tennesse Titans.

Last but not least, offensive tackle Ryan Hayes is predicted as the No. 206 overall prospect with predictions of going to the Las Vegas Raiders, Dallas Cowboys with Mazi, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, or the Detroit Lions.

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