Tight end | Alabama | Junior
Height: 6-foot-2 | Weight: 237 pounds
2018: 44 receptions for 710 yards (16.1 yards per reception) and seven touchdowns in 15 games; 28 receptions gained a first down or scored a touchdown; 11 receptions gained 20 or more yards; All-SEC Second Team (coaches)
Career: 58 receptions for 838 yards (14.4 yards per reception) and 10 touchdowns in 38 games; 33 receptions gained a first down or scored a touchdown
View photos of the Vikings new TE Irv Smith Jr. from Alabama selected in the second round.
Summary: Smith opted for Alabama over Texas and Texas A&M after catching 31 passes for 558 yards and four touchdowns at Brother Martin High School in Louisiana. He was ranked as the No. 6 tight end/H-back prospect nationally and 27th overall player in his home state.
After spending his freshman season behind 2017 first-round pick O.J. Howard (Tampa Bay), Smith worked his way into a rotation in 2017 and became a bigger threat in the receiving game in 2018.
Smith also made a positive impact for the Crimson Tide’s rushing attack that averaged 250.6 yards per game in 2017 (13th in FBS) and 522.0 net yards of offense in 2018 (sixth in FBS).
NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein compared Smith to Ben Watson, a first-round pick of New England in 2004 who also played for the Browns, Saints, Ravens and Saints again.
Of Smith, Zierlein wrote, “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.”
Click here for Zierlein’s full report.
Stacking up (before the combine): Draft analyst Dane Brugler, who writes for The Athletic, ranked Smith as the third-best tight end in this year’s class. NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks moved Smith from second to third in his positional listing.
Smith is listed as the No. 28 overall prospect in NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah’s most recent top 50.
Family ties: Smith’s father totaled 28 receptions for 360 yards and five scores in four seasons at Notre Dame, and the Saints tabbed him with the 20th overall pick of the 1993 NFL Draft.
The older Irv totaled 183 receptions for 1,788 yards and 15 scores in seven NFL seasons. He spent 1993-97 with the Saints before playing one season with San Francisco and closing his career in Cleveland.
Ed Smith, brother/uncle to Smith, Sr./Jr., appeared in 30 regular-season games with the Falcons, Lions and Eagles from 1997-99.