One prospect the Denver Broncos have already shown interest in and could draft during day two of the 2019 NFL Draft is former Alabama tight end, Irv Smith Jr. He’s a 6’2”, 242lb tight end who is considered one of better ones in this draft class. Smith Jr. is ranked as the third-best tight end in the 2019 NFL Draft according to The Draft Network and is ranked as the 33rd best player in the entire draft.
According to NFL Network’s draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah. Smith Jr. is ranked as the 27th best player in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Smith has an excellent blend of size, athleticism, ball skills and toughness. He lines up inline, as a wing or split out. He has a nice burst off the line and is a fluid route runner. He tracks the ball naturally and has reliable hands. He uses his speed to create after the catch. Smith is more than serviceable in the run game. He primarily seals and stalemates, but there are flashes of nasty finishes. Overall, Smith doesn’t have the same upside as former Alabama TE O.J. Howard, but he should be a quality starting TE very early in his NFL career.
Irv Smith Jr. played a total of two seasons at Alabama and put up some decent numbers while not being a focal point in their offense. During Smith Jr.’s two-year career at Alabama, he totaled 58 receptions for 838 yards, and 10 touchdowns. This past year, he had a breakout campaign and totaled 44 receptions for 710 yards and 7 touchdown receptions.
Some of Irv Smith Jr.’s accolades include being named to the Second-Team All-SEC in 2018, a CFP national champion in 2017 and a two-time SEC Champion in 2016 and 2018.
Irv Smith Jr.
Tight end | Junior | Alabama
Height: 6’2” | Weight: 242lbs | 40-time: 4.63 seconds
Arm length: 31 1/2” | Hands: 9 1/2”
Bench Press: 19 reps | Vertical Jump: 32.5 inches | Broad Jump: 110.0 inches
3-Cone Drill: 7.32 seconds | 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.33 seconds | 60-Yard Shuttle: 12.44 seconds
- Like most Alabama tight ends, he’s an elite run blocker
- Good, not great athlete
- Strong player
- Good run route runner who finds the open zones in a defense
- Has an extensive route tree
- A good YAC guy who is tough to bring down
- Showcases soft and reliable hands
- WIll run through you and battles/holds his own in the trenches
- H-Back potential
- Versatile player who can play in-line, in the slow, and in the backfield
- Overall a very polished and well prepared player like most Alabama prospects
- Coming off a very productive year in the SEC
- A tad undersized for a tight end
- Smaller arms gives you a smaller catch radius
- May need to bulk up some to continue being an elite blocker in the NFL
- While being a good athlete, he lacks that explosive second gear that some prospects in this draft class have
- A one-year wonder who is a little bit inexperienced
Mockdraftable spider graph:
NFL Network’s draft analyst Lance Zierlein on Alabama tight end, Irv Smith Jr.
“Smith is still green in terms of overall experience, which shows up in run-blocking and route-running, but he has plenty of talent and is likely to get much better in both areas. He has combination tight end talent but really flashes as a move blocker at fullback or wingback spots. His buildup speed sets him apart as a big, field-stretching option and once he gets rolling after the catch. O.J. Howard was bigger, and a better athlete, but like Howard, Smith offers Pro Bowl potential as a well-rounded tight end prospect.”
Does Irv Smith Jr. make sense for the Denver Broncos?:
He fits well.
He is a little undersized. Not very tall, shorter arms, and a little light for a tight end, but he plays much bigger than what he’s listed. He’s not an explosive athlete like say a Noah Fant, but he’s good enough to be a weapon for an NFL offense.
I’m a big fan of TE Irv Smith, Jr. Versatile chess piece that doesn’t turn 21 years old until August. Fantastic genes as well.— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) February 7, 2019
His father (Irv Smith, Sr.) was the 20th overall pick in the 1993 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. He went on to have a 7-year career. pic.twitter.com/i4SeQKVAPx
What I like most about this fit is his run blocking prowess. The Broncos figure to run the ball often in 2019 and will be in 11 personnel a good amount of time. So a run blocking tight end like Smith Jr. makes a ton of sense. His route running ability and athleticism should make him a weapon on play action plays which often feature the tight end in the passing game.
I personally see the Broncos targeting a bigger tight end with more traditional height/arm length measurements, but certainly wouldn’t be upset with Smith Jr. If he’s in play and still on the board at 41, I think he’ll be hard for the Broncos to pass up.
Do you want the Broncos to draft tight end Irv Smith Jr. in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft?
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