Irv Smith Jr. NFL Draft Profile

The following is a 2019 Irv Smith Jr. NFL Draft Profile highlighting everything that you need to know about the Alabama tight end. Listed below is his scouting report highlighting strengths and weaknesses while looking at his NFL player comparison and his projection. Here at NFL Draft Geek we also like to provide all of our play cut ups, video breakdowns and any other important articles that will give our full view of who we think he is as a prospect.

Irv Smith Jr. NFL Draft Profile

Height: 6’4 Weight: 241 School: Alabama

Positives

  • Is moved around the offense and used inline, slot, backfield and out wide.
  • Has the upper body strength that allows him to steer defenders into position to seal them off.
  • Can locate and maintain blocks in space.
  • Strong hands allow him to lock onto defenders and maintain his blocks.
  • Soft hands that allow him to pluck the ball out of the air.
  • Able to adjust to off target throws making catches that are low or behind him.
  • Can go up and high point the ball above defenders.
  • Short area burst can allow him to create some separation from defenders at the stem.

Concerns

  • Not an explosive athlete and will need to build up his speed.
  • Lacks the top end speed to run away from defenders to create separation.
  • Can be pushed around off the snap or while running his routes.
  • A bit of a raw route runner where he lacks the nuances to set up defenders and create separation.

Summary

Irv Smith Jr. is an athletic tight end that is a fluid mover and can be used in a variety of different roles. At 6’4 250lbs Smith Jr. has the size and strength to play both as an inline tight end while the movement skills to line up detached from the line either in the slot or out wide.

As a run blocker Smith Jr. isn’t overpowering but has enough upper body strength to get his hands inside the defender and lock them down. Smith Jr. also is able to steer defenders to the side allowing him to seal them off and open up creases and lanes for the running back to get through. Blocking in space is not an issue as Smith Jr. was used successfully as a lead blocker in a pseudo fullback role and out from the slot blocking for receivers.

Smith Jr. does his biggest damage as a receiver utilizing his athletic ability to get out into his routes and find open areas in coverage. Improving his route running will be crucial for Irv as he could learn to set up his routes better, but he does have the short area burst to create separation at the stem. Smith Jr. catches the ball naturally showing the ability to not only make the routine catches but has the body control and catching radius to react to off target throws.

Projection

Irv Smith Jr. is a dynamic all around tight end that can help out a team both as a blocker and as a weapon in the passing game. Tight ends usually take a little bit longer to hit their stride and Smith Jr. is no different as he may start slow early in his career, but his ability to be a complete tight end could allow him to be a top 10 tight end by year three of his career. Being selected in the first round is a possibility for Smith Jr. as a team like the New England Patriots could be looking for a replacement for Rob Gronkowsi. But Smith likely is taken early in the second round as Oakland, Jacksonville or the Bills could be realistic options.

Player Comparison: Zach Ertz

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IRV SMITH SCOUTING REPORT: . Strengths – Exceptional athlete with versatility to play in the slot, as a boundary receiver or as an inline tight end. Has the top speed to challenge defenses down the seam and elite burst to separate out of his breaks and out run defenders in the open field. True matchup nightmare who consistently beats safeties down the field. Changes direction smoothly and is very sharp running routes. Runs a diverse route tree and is a true threat at all 3 levels. Defeats physical coverage well and doesn’t let press attempts bump him off his path. Adjusts his routes and will find holes in between zones. Uses angles in his stem to create leverage in his routes and manipulate defenders. Absolute demon after the catch. Has the shiftiness to make defenders miss in space and also has great contact balance to run through tackle attempts, turns into a running back with the ball in his hands. Ability to generate yardage after the catch is elite for a tight end. Ball skills are impressive and he does a good job securing the ball through contact. Catches the ball away from his frame well and adjusts to misplaced throws with a large catch radius. Underrated blocker, can even be used as a fullback. Blocks really well on the move and is a terrific lead blocker. Generates good initial movement in the run game, winning with leverage and a good initial punch . Weaknesses – Isn’t a dominant blocker by any stretch and lack of power may see him struggle to set the edge at times. Will stop his feet through contact as a blocker at times and won’t get a ton of movement as a result. Has some focus drops in his tape and needs to watch the ball all the way in on a consistent basis . Outlook – Perhaps my boldest take of draft season so far is having Smith as TE1 but man, he is just that good. I think Smith is going to be an incredibly productive pro. He has the athletic traits and versatility to be a true offensive weapon in the NFL. Smith has the potential to be a pro bowl level player at the next level . #nfl #nflfootball #nflupdates #nflnews #nflplayoffs #nfldraft #nfldraft2019 #rtr #alabamafootball #crimsontide #cfb #collegefootball #tdsreports2019

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