Notre Dame football all-time Lou Holtz team TE: Irv Smith
1993 NFL Draft: Round 1, Pick 20
New Orleans Saints, 1993–1997
San Francisco 49ers, 1998
Cleveland Browns, 1999
Irv Smith played during an era in which tight ends were used more frequently as blockers than they were relied on in the passing game, but Smith still became a first-round pick following the 1992 season. Smith actually became more of a passing game threat in the NFL, where he hauled in 1,788 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns over a seven-year career.
The kind of modern tight end product previously described is Smith’s son, Irv Smith Jr., who played at Alabama and ended up becoming a second-round pick. Smith Jr. is already at 858 receiving yards and eight touchdowns through three seasons, making it likely the son meets or exceeds his father’s career in Notre Dame.
Smith Sr. probably doesn’t see that as a bad thing, though.