Photo Credit: 49ers.com
The D-Hall trade to Oakland isn't yet official. If we do launch our #1 cornerback out of a cannon and send him on his way, the Falcons will have a variety of options to fill his spot. The most likely one at the moment is that Chris Houston will be thrown forcibly into the fire, which seems appropriate given how badly he's likely to be burned. While Houston takes his lumps and tries to grow into the role, the Falcons will have to line someone up opposite him. If you read the title of this post, you can guess what I'm advocating.
David Irons for #2 corner!
Wait, you say. Isn't this the same David Irons who had his size and speed questioned coming out of Auburn last year? The one who was a late round pick? The one who hardly got into the game under Petrino's watch? Foolish, you say! Blasphemy, you cry!
Hell, though, there's a lot to like. Irons was pretty successful in a big-time college program at Auburn, for one thing. At 5'11 and about 190, he's not as tiny as he's made out to be, though he and I could probably switch places and no one would be the wiser. He's also got good speed and has a knack for getting to the ball, with plenty of knockdowns in college. Irons also tackles well and by all indications is a willing worker out on the field. On a lot of teams in the league, all of that wouldn't be enough to propel him to the #2 slot, but I'd rather see him there than the prospect or two we're sure to draft.
The way I see it, the Falcons can line up Houston, Irons, Von Hutchins and Brent Grimes/rookie in that order and have a reasonable facsimile of a cornerbacking corps. While I expect growing pains out of what will pretty much have to be a young unit again, I have high hopes for Houston and Irons. If the rumors around the team are true, the Falcons brass is seriously considering giving Irons that run. I firmly believe he won't disappoint.