TE Irv Smith Jr., Alabama*

6’2” – 242 lbs. – 4.63
Father and uncle both played tight end in the NFL. Wasn’t a factor as a freshman, but started to produce a little bit the following season, going 14-128-3. Broke out this past season, going 44-710-7 as the Tide started to pass the ball more, then declared for the draft. A little bit smaller than your typical inline tight end, which might force him into a flex role at the next level; appears to have arms which are a little shorter than his height would indicate. Lines up all over the formation, whether as an H-Back, as an inline tight end, or split out as more of a receiver. Well-coached blocker with a workmanlike approach and sound fundamentals. Able to reach his assignment, set up a wide base, get into his seat, and extend his arms to work through the whistle. Appears to have solid hand placement and grip strength to get inside and sustain his blocks. Tougher and stronger than his size would indicate and is capable of locking on and turning opposing edge defenders out and clear lanes in the run game. Comes in motion and shows a gritty approach to smash defenders in the hole as a lead blocker on inside runs. Tended to run routes on passing downs rather than staying in as an extra blocker. Can get out in front of a screen and work to engage. Good releases against bump-and-run coverage. Has choppy feet, gets low, and offers enough suddenness to avoid getting knocked off of his pattern by linebackers. Does a good job of selling fakes and slipping past to create open looks leaking out of the backfield. Has the speed to uncover against man coverage and exhibits snap to his routes, although he doesn’t always sink his hips. Route tree itself was a little bit limited, consisting of a lot of shorter in/out routes and delayed releases. Lack of size and length inhibits his catch radius, but appears to have a reliable set of hands within his frame. Secures the ball and gets upfield quickly, running hard after the catch. Interesting in the sense that he is an athletic, slightly undersized tight end who usually lines up as a flex and produced as a receiver, but whose most appealing trait is actually his toughness, consistency, and versatility as a blocker. In short, a player who maximizes his tools, brings a professional approach to the game, and looks like a solid bet to come off the board by the end of the second round.

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