O.J. Howard was remarkable in his final two years at the University of Alabama, but all Irv Smith Jr. needed was one season to show National Football League teams that it won’t be wise to pass up on him.
Hailing from New Orleans, La., the former four-star was pivotal in the Crimson Tide’s run to a Southeastern Conference championship and its fifth appearance in the College Football Playoff last season – totaling 44 catches for 710 receiving yards with seven touchdowns in 15 games.
The 6-foot-4, 241-pounder finished fourth on the team in both receptions and receiving yards, while being tied for third in touchdowns. Smith averaged 16.14 yards per reception and was a semifinalist for the John Mackey Award, which is presented to the nation’s top tight end.
To pair beside his frame, Smith carries strong hands and is a precise route runner.
Despite his size, he’s very athletic with the ball in space as he finds different ways to evade tacklers and collect yardage after receptions. He projects as the 41st best prospect for the upcoming NFL Draft and the No. 2 tight end, according to CBS Sports’ Prospect Rankings.
Smith is training for NFL’s Scouting Combine and he shared a clip via Twitter of him thoroughly executing the gauntlet drill, one in which receivers, tight ends and defensive backs participate in.
— Irvin Smith Jr. (@swervinirvin_) February 8, 2019
He currently projects as a second-round selection; however, a good performance (especially in the 40-yard dash) could push him to be a middle to late first-round value.
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