2007 Draft Recap: David Irons

Auburn Tigers

David Irons

Height: 5-10
Weight: 190
College: Auburn
Birthday: October 9, 1982
Hometown: Dacula, GA


40 Speed: 4.44
20 Yd: 2.58
10 Yd: 1.53
Bench: 11 reps
Vertical Jump: 29.5 inches
Broad Jump: 9’3″
Short Shuttle: 4.30
3 Cone Drill: 7.18
Arm Length: 31 1/8 inches
Hand size: 9 1/8 inches
Wonderlic: 4

NFL Draft Countdown
by Scott WrightStrengths: Very tough, physical and aggressive…A good athlete with fluid hips…Has good speed and quickness with a burst to close…Willing and gives a good effort in run support…Puts himself in position to knock down a lot of balls…Plays bigger than he is…May not have reached his full potential and might still have some upside.Weaknesses: Durability is a major concern…Height and bulk are both only average…Ball skills and hands are very questionable and he doesn’t make many big plays…Is not a great tackler…Instincts and intelligence might be an issue…Better when jamming than in off coverage…Does not have a ton of experience against top competition.Notes: Brother, Kenny, played running back for Auburn and is also a top prospect in this draft…A transfer from Butler County Junior College…Tore his left ACL in 2001 and 2004…Will be 25-years-old as a rookie…A tad overrated due to his last name but he’s a solid prospect who could wind up being a steal if he can just stay healthy.Grade: Mid-Rounder

by TFY Draft PreviewPOSITIVES: Nice-sized cornerback with an improving game. Jams opponents at the line, is physical throughout routes and positions himself to defend the pass. Stays with receivers anywhere on the field, displays an explosive break to the throw and flies around the field.NEGATIVES: Prefers to side-shuffle down the field and is a little tight in his backpedal. Occasionally struggles with his back to the ball, and is better facing the action.ANALYSIS: A developing prospect who had opposing quarterbacks throwing away from him last season, Irons finished off a terrific campaign in ’06 with an outstanding showing at the Senior Bowl. Durability issues from the past must be checked out, yet the arrow is pointing upward.PROJECTION: Late Third Round

GRADE: 3.65 — Future Starter

by NFLDraftScout.comPositives: Has a compact frame with a tight midsection, V-shaped torso, thick chest and arm muscle development and excellent timed speed … Feisty, physical tackler who will surprise an opponent with the power he generates from his small frame (not really strong, but knows how to torque and put full force behind his hits) … Won’t back down from the bigger blockers and competes until the whistle … Has excellent foot speed and flexibility, coming out of his breaks with the burst to stay right on the hip of the receiver … Lacks ideal change-of-direction agility (knee issues), but is very effective at making plays in front of him … Willingly challenges receivers to test his speed on deep routes … Is quick to read keys and diagnose plays, showing no hesitation closing on the ball … Best when he’s facing the ball rather than his back to it, showing the short-area burst to close … Very active with his hands in attempts to press and reroute the receiver … Gets a good break on the ball and has the second straight-line gear to recover … Even vs. taller receivers, he knows how to mirror and impede the route’s progression by getting his hands on the receiver’s hip to push off without getting caught … Type of man coverage defender who rests in the “back pocket” of his opponent, frustrating receivers by not allowing any room for them to operate, especially in tight areas … Needs backpedal refinement (fails to stay in it), but is effective coming out of his breaks because of his explosive burst … Can flip his hips and break back for the ball, but needs to work on planting his feet better … Best when playing in man coverage, as his size sometimes gets him lost in zone assignments (lacks awareness and a feel in that coverage) … When he sees the ball, he is quick to get in position to make the play … Has good hands to snatch or deflect the pass … Showed good improvement in using his speed effectively to recover when he is caught out of position (was slow to get back in the action in 2005, possibly due to recovering from knee surgery) … Even though he gives up several inches to most receivers, he has great timing and judgment, contorting his frame to get to the ball at its high point … Shows good explosion behind his elevation and does a nice job of adjusting his body to get under the ball … Shows adequate ability to get his head turned around to track the ball … Not a natural hands catcher, but works his frame well to reach around or over to deflect the pass … Needs to stay in control flying to the ball in run force, but will generate good pop on contact … Physical striker who needs to break down better, but gets the ball carrier down with his low-cut hitting ability … When he opens his hips properly, he can flash to the ball in an instant … When facing up vs. the large offensive linemen, he puts himself in position to occupy the opponent, thus allowing another teammate to get free and make the play.Negatives: Packs a punch behind his hits, yet has only marginal strength … Even with his lean muscle tone, his frame appears small and light … Two major surgeries on his left knee brings up durability issues and further medical evaluation is advisable … Best when making plays in front of him, as he struggles some when having his back to the ball (will try to eye the backfield and the receiver is then able to slip past him) … Uses more of a shuffle technique in his backpedal, and while he has the speed to compensate, he fails to plant and drive cleanly, making him look choppy in transition … Will let the ball into his body too much and needs to extend and catch outside his frame (marginal as a pass thief) … Plays with good urgency, but tends to get reckless in his play (takes illegal swipes at the receiver), resulting in costly penalties … Better tackler in closed quarters, as he will ankle-bite and duck his head in the open, allowing the opponent to bounce off his tackles (needs to wrap and secure with better consistency) … Not an effective blitzer, as he lacks the bulk to prevent from getting engulfed working at the line … Times his leaps well, but bigger receivers have been effective at shielding him from the ball (results in penalties when he tries to grab for the pass) … Will fly to the ball, but would be more efficient if he had a better understanding of pursuit angles.Compares To: Aaron Glenn, Dallas Cowboys … Irons knows he lacks room on his frame to get bigger, but like Glenn he is a feisty player who can pester a receiver to frustration … He is best when making plays in front of him, but struggles when the ball is behind him … He lacks hands to be much of a pass thief, but his elevation and timing lets him get to most balls at its high point … His knee surgeries might see his stock slip a bit on draft day, even though he appeared to be on his way to full recovery with his improved play in 2006.

The Huddle Report
by Drew BoylhartSTRENGTHS: David is a very underrated CB. He has speed, quickness and very good change of direction skills. He shows a quick hip-flip and is a sure tackler. David plays bigger than his size and is a strong CB who works well in zone coverage and man-to-man coverage. He is the type of CB that explodes into his tackles and makes WR’s pay after catching the ball against him. David shows quick feet and excellent timing when going up in the air to defend against a fade route in the end zone against a taller opponent. He is smart and knows how to set up a QB. David reminds me a lot of Nathan Vasher (CB Chicago Bears).NEEDS TO IMPROVE: If David were two inches taller, he would be rated as a first round pick. He has to add some bulk and work a little on his hands, but the truth is that David is a pretty complete CB.OVERALL: Size is a factor now with CB’s because there are so many WR’s that are 6’ 0” and over, but that will not be a problem for David because he is an excellent athlete that uses his brains as much as he uses his talent. I don’t believe that David will stop trying to improve and the team that drafts this kid is going to have a very hard time keeping him off the field. As I said before, David reminds me a lot of Nathan Vasher and is being pigeon-holed and underrated like Nathan was by everyone but us at THR (see Archives). Because there are so many bigger CB’s in this draft, David will be rated much lower than he should be by most teams in this draft. However, the team that drafts him will get a first rate cover corner with impact potential and a player who will become a core player for that team. I will rate David as a second round talent because he does need some technique work and I’m not sure of his special team skills. But make no mistake about it, David is going to be a hell of a DB for the team that drafts him.TALENT BOARD ROUND: 2

Football’s Future
by Robert DavisIrons began his career at Butler County Junior College before landing at Auburn in 2004. He sat out that year with a knee injury, but recovered enough to earn All SEC 2nd team honors a year later after finishing with 48 tackles, and 11 passes defensed. As a senior, Irons had 40 tackles and two picks on the year. David Irons is a very solid cover corner. He has the quickness to stick with receivers in and out of their breaks, and the speed to run with them down the field. He is also tough and aggressive, and willing to support the run. Irons has only average size, and can lose out against bigger, more physical receivers. It also hinders his ability to be a force in the run game, despite his willingness to come to the line. Even though he has good cover skills, Irons has never been the playmaker a top tier corner should be. He had just two picks in two years at Auburn, and needs to show better skills at making a play on the football. Irons has seen his stock rise in the post season, and he now grades out in the same area as his brother Kenny. His lack of playmaking ability may hurt him though. He could hear his name called in the late second, but should be gone in the third at some point.

Consensus Draft Services Overview: The former Juco star landed at Auburn in 04 and promptly injured his knee. He started every game at CB for the Tigers in 05 and 06. He looked like he was fully recovered from his ACL injury by the time his senior campaign arrived.Strengths: Irons is a physical player who also has very solid cover skills. He may lack the size teams are looking for in a CB, but he plays bigger than he measures. He showed the speed to run with any of the SEC receivers and the burst and quickness needed to make big plays. He can create turnovers with his impressive hits. This physicality is also evident when he’s involved in run support, something he’s improved upon greatly. He had a very good showing at the Senior Bowl and earned the praise of scouts in attendance.Weaknesses: Irons is a bit of a gambler, and can get burned as a result. He’ll spend too much time looking into the backfield when he’s in a zone coverage and can fall prey to a pump fake or a well-run route. He appears to have recovered from an injury to his left ACL, but he did injure it twice in his career already.Projection: Irons really stepped up and made a name for himself during Senior Bowl practices. He’s an ideal corner for a team that plays a lot of man. Look for him to go as early as round 2.

About the Author

Aaron Freeman
Founder of FalcFans.com