David Irons CB Auburn
The numbers: 5102/190/4.54
2006 stats: 25 tackles, 15 assists, 3-13 tackles for loss, 2-0-0 interceptions, 12 pass deflections, 1 forced fumble
The player: While Auburn halfback Kenny Irons catches the headlines, his big (okay, older) brother David may actually be drafted earlier.
|David Irons at the Senior Bowl (AUTigers.com)|
Against the run, he shows excellent pursuit skills, puts himself in great position to shed blocks and tackles through the runner. He's not that strong in the upper body and can be outmuscled and shouldn't be used as a blitzer.
While Irons is a quality prospect who could eventually start in a Cover-2 NFL defense (or at least be a good No. 3), he does have one outstanding flaw — his hands. He did have seven picks at Auburn, but dropped way more sure things. Irons' hands were so bad at Auburn's pro day workout that his brother started making fun of him. "At least he'll lead the league in pass break-ups," Kenny joked.
Reminds me of: Remember Ray Mickens? A third-round pick by the Jets in 1996, Mickens was an effective starter in the NFL for about a decade, but managed just 11 picks in 11 seasons.
How he fits: If Irons improves his awareness of how zones work, he could start in the NFL. At very least he could develop into a decent No. 3 guy who intimidates slot receivers and could reduce the Colts' vulnerability on crossing patterns.
The team is currently in flux at corner. Nick Harper left as a free agent and Jason David becomes an undrafted free agent after this season. The Colts have some high draft picks at the position in Marlin Jackson, Kelvin Hayden and Tim Jennings, but none are proven, depth is slim and Bill Polian's almost pathological desire to draft defensive backs could make Irons a Colt.
Irons should be available in the third round, in which the Colts have two picks.