Irv Smith Jr. was the first Alabama football player taken Friday in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville, Tennessee.
The former Crimson Tide tight end went No. 18 (50th overall) to the Minnesota Vikings.
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) April 27, 2019
Smith is one of seven Alabama underclassmen who chose to enter the draft this season, the most in Alabama history. He is the son of former NFL tight end Irv Smith, a first round pick of the New Orleans Saints in 1993. The elder Smith played seven NFL seasons.
Irv Smith Jr. broke school records this season after becoming Alabama’s top tight end. He finished the season with 710 yards and seven touchdowns, the best marks in Alabama history for a tight end. He finished fourth on the team with 44 receptions. Smith was named second team All-SEC by the league coaches.
Smith became a more prominent part of the offense this season as Alabama’s passing attack took off with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. He was one of five players with at least 40 catches, 600 yards and six touchdowns.
His junior season was a huge jump in production this year after he posted 14 receptions for 128 yards and three touchdowns as a sophomore. He didn’t have any offensive stats during his true freshman season in 2016.