Is Irv Smith Jr. ready and willing to do Rob Gronkowski’s old job?

The Alabama Crimson Tide tight end appears interested in replacing the former New England Patriots tight end, judging by some of his recent Twitter activity. Shortly after Gronkowski announced his retirement from the NFL on Sunday, Barstool Bama shared a photo of Smith shaking Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s hand with the caption: “Gronk retired you say?” Smith reacted with the eyes emoji, which usually indicates interest in the given topic.

Smith, 20, caught 44 passes for 710 yards and seven touchdowns last season and helped the Crimson Tide reach the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship Game, where they lost to Clemson in a rout.

The junior is one Alabama’s top draft-eligible players this season, and Belichick likely scouted him last week during his visit to Alabama’s pro day exercises.

The Patriots have six picks in the first three rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft, and Smith might be available when they make their first selection at No. 32 overall.

Thumbnail photo via Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Images