Ben Ijalana, OT/OG, Villanova

Scouting reports of the centers, guards, and tackles in the 2011 Draft.
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Ben Ijalana, OT/OG, Villanova

Postby OGDraft » Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:20 pm

Height: 6’4
Weight: 320
College: Villanova
40 Time: 5.35
Class: Senior
Stock: Up
Projected: 2nd Round


Ben Ijalana might be this years best small school player. He has absolutely dominated at Villanova and has a lot of potential. He has great footwork and can mirror pass-rushers on the edge. He’s got a good, natural knee bend as well. He gets a great push in the run game because he’s strong and drives his feet. He still needs to work on his overall technique and there are some questions about where he will play in the NFL. He has the potential to play LT, so that alone puts him pretty high on teams draft boards.

Scouting Report:


- Good size
- Experienced player, started all 4 years
- Displays a natural knee bend
- Good athlete
- Moves his feet well
- Great lateral agility
- Looks good moving in space
- Nice initial punch
- Strong
- Plays with good leverage
- Drives his feet when run blocking
- Versatile, can play inside as well
- Good upside


- Strength of competition is a big concern
- Below average height
- Plays with poor leverage at times
- Lacks a mean streak
- Needs to work on his technique a bit more

1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

Strength: 3.5
Pass Blocking: 3.5
Run Blocking: 4.0
Footwork: 3.5
Technique: 3.0
Mobility: 3.0
Mean Streak: 2.0
Pro Potential: 4.0
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Re: Ben Ijalana, OT/OG, Villanova

Postby Pudge » Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:49 am

Villanova Senior
40: 5.35e


Has long arms and is able to initiate contact on the edge. Shows ability to lock on in pass protection. Has nice pop and is able to lock on and get position as a run blocker. Uses size well against undersized defenders. Shows potential as a drive blocker and will put a defender in the dirt. Shows ability to make kick out block on the edge and does a nice job on the second level.


Doesn't do a great job matching up against speed and doesn't have great feet. Gets too deep in his pass drop, giving up the inside move. Will open his stance a bit too early. Needs to do a better job with his hand placement as a run blocker and will come out a bit too high in short yardage. Misses some assignments when blocking on the second level.


Ijalana played at a high level on the FCS level, and started all 53 games he played in at left tackle for the Wildcats. A sports hernia caused him to miss the Senior Bowl and Combine, which would have given scouts the opportunity to see him match up against premium competition. He probably fits best on the inside because he doesn't have ideal height and footwork, but has the long arms and enough athleticism to potentially stick at right tackle.


Ijalana has the versatility that he's going to find a home somewhere in the pros. It's doubtful that's at left tackle, but there is some potential that he could get by there as a stopgap like a Travelle Wharton. That's probably the player he compares to most at the next level. He has enough run blocking potential to think he can get some push as a right tackle. But he probably projects best as a guard because it should hide his issues in pass protection and less than stellar footwork. And with his long arms and strength, he should be pretty solid in a short area. Due to his lack of experience inside, he may need a year to be developed before he can be expected to be a real challenger for a starting spot. But he's good enough that it'll be surprising if he hasn't won a starting spot and solidified it by his third year. There may be some growing pains as he adjusts to playing inside, but nothing glaring that I don't think he'll eventually pick it up after a year or so at the position. He should be a good starter, but not sure if he is going to be a top-level starter. But like Wharton, he can be a versatile and valuable starter on a good line.


Ijalana could be a good insurance policy for the Falcons up front. Again, he probably is not a good candidate to start right away at guard. But he can come in and be a nice backup, and probably by his second year should have surpassed Svitek as the swing tackle. Not a great bet to surpass either starter on the outside, but a nice insurance policy, particularly on the right side if the Falcons can't lock up Clabo long-term. But he has great long-term value playing inside at guard. He could push for a starting job by his second or third year and potentially win it. If he shows the consistency that he showed for the most part at Villanova, then he can be a very solid starting guard on either side for the Falcons once he gets up to speed.


Ijalana has the upside to be one of the better guards in the league, but because he's not likely to make a huge contribution as a rookie there, he's a better value in the mid-to-later portion of the second round.

1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

Strength: 3.5
Pass Blocking: 3.5
Run Blocking: 4.0
Footwork: 3.0
Technique: 3.5
Mobility: 3.5
Mean Streak: 2.5
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