Alabama Football News

Irv Smith remains a potential first-rounder after impressive NFL Combine

Adam Hagy - USA TODAY Sports

Smooth hands. Natural feel for the football. Good speed. 

For Irv Smith Jr., the former University of Alabama tight end had all three traits plus more on display at his NFL Combine workout. While his father – Irv Smith, Sr. — was a first-round pick of the 1993 draft to the New Orleans Saints, this is a situation where the son may be a little better. 

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The 6-foot-2, 242-pounder dropped 19 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press and shared the third-fastest time in the 40-yard dash among tight ends at 4.63 seconds. He may be listed as the third best player at his position on draft boards; however, it does not seem that way when one looks at how Smith made it look effortless on certain on-field drills inside Lucas Oil Stadium. 

During the gauntlet, Smith never broke stride. 

He stayed on the line, caught every pass and showed a burst at the end.

Nothing changed when it came to quarterbacks and tight ends working wheel routes, as Smith had a slight stumbled but kept his concentration and made a fingertip catch. The lone issue came at the end of tight end workouts with him not maintaining his balance on two reps and he missed both balls. 

He is not an overwhelming blocker, but the New Orleans native did assist the trio of Damien Harris, Najee Harris and Josh Jacobs to over five yards a carry in 2018. All three running backs totaled 500+ yards rushing last season, and the elder Harris led the group with 876 yards. 

Smith opened many doors for Michael Locksley (offensive coordinator), Dan Enos (quarterbacks’ coach), Tua Tagovailoa (quarterback) and the rest of Alabama’s offense — seeing how he was fourth in receptions (44), receiving yards (710) and yards per catch (16.14) through 15 games.

He was tied for third on the roster in touchdown catches (seven) a season ago and was a semifinalist for the John Mackey Award, which is presented to college football’s most outstanding tight end.

Smith did exactly what scouts expected him to do, and with that being said, a lot of teams will look at the possibility of selecting him in the first round. 

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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