No Major Injury History
2018: Oklahoma, Clemson, 2017: Tennessee
Smith Jr. has all the ingredients that you want in a highly successful combination TE. He has great athleticism, size, and physical playing demeanor that shines though not only as a pass catcher, but especially in the run blocking game. He has a firm grasp on what it takes to open up rushing lanes as a drive blocker, a positional blocker, or by using angle blocking. He is a physical mismatch as a pass catcher due to his quickness in and out of his breaks and fluidity in the open field. He has the ability to leave defenders grasping at open air while he sprints for long gains. Strong and reliable hand catcher who consistently showed the ability to pluck passes away from his frame.
Was a powerful run blocker at the college level but will need to continue to add strength so that he can rag doll defenders at the next level the same way he did while at Alabama. As a pass protector he struggled to stay in front of and block pass rushers with a great burst and bend which could lead to his QB seeing pressure from his side of the LOS. Only had one year of great production while at Alabama but that could be more of a product of coming from a program that values a rushing attack more than a vaunted passing offense.
Irv Smith Jr. is a highly athletic pass catcher who loves to bury defenders as a run blocker. He is an early entrant to this draft and is squarely in the discussion to be one of the first TE's to come off the board in this year's class. I see a host of teams showing interest in him such as: Saints, Patriots, Dolphins, Packers, Lions, Cardinals, Broncos, and Bills. His playing style reminds me a lot of Vance McDonald and should be off the board in rounds 1 or 2."
He possesses a great combination of size, speed, agility, fluidity, and power to his game that makes it hard for defenders to contain him as a blocker or as a pass catcher. He has a big catching radius and soft hands to go up and make catches at is apex. Strong hands to latch on while blocking and will push defenders off the ball with great leg drive. Showed the ability to contort his body to off target throws as well as slip by defenders trying to jam him off the LOS. Was a terrific blocker out in space or as a lead blocker in his ability to flow and fit on defenders at the second level. Gets low in his blocks and can drive defenders backwards. Smooth moving TE that at times looks like a WR due to his fluidity and ability to get in an out of his routes without gearing down. Can cut and break defenders ankles in the open field and will bull over defenders if given the chance. Has explosive short area quickness and can separate from LBs with ease. He also has the speed and vertical jumping ability to be a monster down the seam that few safeties can contain. Has great speed to be a seam stretching presence. Is too fast for LBs and is too big for safeties to cover so he has a chance to be a mismatch nightmare at the next level.
Big Play Ability
Spacing & Timing
Very good quickness off the LOS that will put defenders on their heels due to his combination of size, speed, and strength. Showed the ability to run a wide variety of routes out of a pro-style system. He also was utilized out of multiple position which enhances his ability to be a mismatch on defenders. Can get separation in a multitude of ways. He can get physical with smaller statured DBs, can use quickness in and out of his breaks, or can simple slip past defenders with elusiveness to present his number to his passer. Soft and sure hands, that he uses to consistently uses to pluck passes away from his frame. Excellent grip strength when tasked with making combative catches, and has a certain heaviness to them when he grasps defenders while run blocking. Will beat you after the catch one of two ways: by force or by speed. He will lower a shoulder and run over you with a mean spirited leg drive or he simply will run by you with speed and quickness. Was generally sound at tucking the ball out of harm's way and did not fumble in any of the games viewed.
Is a player who can collapse the edge as a run blocker in-line. He initiates contact, runs feet on contact, and will rag doll defenders with his heavy hands. He also is keenly aware of how to use positioning and angle blocking to his advantage to shield pursuit away from rushing lanes. With his terrific lateral agility, the coaches at Iowa used him a ton as a move TE, as well as a lead FB on iso blocks. Showed a real prowess to be able to flow, and fit on defenders in space. Is adept at keeping his eyes up, and targeting a defender to initiate. He is able to ragdoll second level defenders due to size, and strength advantage. He is an excellent in space blocker due to his fluidity and athleticism, what gives him the ability to dominate at the second level is his strength and understanding of blocking fundamentals. He anticipates rushing lanes as a lead blocker or out in space and will use angle and positional blocks to his advantage. He was occasionally asked to stay in on passing downs and showed light feet, shuffling ability to mirror pass rushers, and strong hands to initiate contact and control defenders. He did have a hard time being able to stick with pass rushers with a great burst and bend around the edge. A championship style playing demeanor, he will seek to finish blocks and on multiple occasions he came up with clutch blocks to spring big gains. He also consistently maintained his block for the duration of the play and through the whistle, which would draw the ire of some defenders.
Blocking in Space
Terrific playing demeanor that shows in his willingness to scrap with bigger bodied DL as a blocker, and also shows the ability to run physically after the catch. Only had one season of great production, and his other season he saw action he had adequate production in a rushing offense. He does however own the single-season record of receiving TD's by a TE with 7 last year. Excellent motor and effort throughout a game. He does not get lazy in his blocking efforts and seeks to finish his blocks.
Aggression & Toughness
Catch Point Mentality
Has a terrific feel for how to get open whether in zone or man, and how to use his size or speed to his advantage. As a blocker he understands when to get physical and drive block, positional block, or angle defenders away from rushing lanes. High football IQ, and showed a prowess for not only being able to play multiple positions, but excel at them and all their responsibilities. Excellent positional versatility, with playing time coming from: in-line TE, move TE, FB, slot WR, and even being asked to split outside at WR.