Kenny Irons began his career at South Carolina, but after rushing for just 252 yards in two seasons, he decided to jump ship and transfer to Auburn. He sat out the 2004 season, and blew up as a junior in 2005, his first season on the field with the Tigers. He was named All SEC 1st Team after rushing for 1,293 yards and 13 touchdowns, and added 14 receptions for 164 yards out of the backfield. His numbers fell this season as he battled through injuries, but he still managed to rush for 821 yards and four touchdowns on the year.
Irons has an excellent combination of skills. He has the ability to break off a big run, but the ability to pick up tough yards between the tackles as well. He has quick feet and shows the ability to cut and quickly accelerate to break off big runs consistently. Irons is also a very tough interior runner. He has the toughness to continue to tote the rock inside and take hits. He also keeps his feet moving at the end of runs and picks up extra yardage at the end of the play.
There is not any one glaring weakness in Irons’ game, but he doesn’t have any true standout qualities either. While has has good speed, he is not a burner and will not straight run by NFL defenders. His size is also only average. He may need to bulk up to be able to withstand the beating he will take as a feature back in the NFL. He had some injuries as a senior that hindered his success, so durability may be a factor in the NFL.
Irons is the next in the line of talented Auburn backs into the NFL, following Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams(and Brandon Jacobs, who transferred to Southern Illinois before moving on to the NFL). While he is not as highly regarded as Brown or Williams, he has the ability to be a very good starting back in the NFL, and should be a Day One pick in April.