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Ben Ijalana, OG/OT, Villanova

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by TheFinisher, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. TheFinisher

    TheFinisher Well-Known Member

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    Projected right now as an early 2nd/possible late 1st, he is one of the strongest lineman in this class and possibly the best road grader. Some scouts think he can play Tackle in the NFL so that's a plus and adds to his value although I think his best position will be Guard.


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    Height- 6'4
    Weight- 320


    Strengths:
    • Excellent bulk w/ long arms and large hands
    • Superb athleticism, quickness and agility
    • Fantastic strength and extremely powerful
    • Stout at the point of attack and can anchor
    • Gets an outstanding push in the run game
    • Nimble feet to slide laterally and mirror
    • Displays the ability to recover when beat
    • Stuns opponents with violent initial punch
    • Capable of locking on and sustaining blocks
    • Range to work in space and at second level
    • Tough and will play through pain / injuries
    • Hard worker and still has considerable upside
    • Extremely durable with a ton of experience

    Weaknesses:
    • Lacks the ideal height that you'd prefer
    • Struggles with speed rushers off the edge
    • Instincts and awareness are questionable
    • Must refine technique, hand use, footwork
    • Inconsistent pad level, leverage, knee bend
    • Trouble hitting moving targets in space
    • Not a finisher and lacks a killer instinct
    • Might be a bit of a positional 'tweener
    • Didn't always face top-notch competition

    Notes:
    Last name is pronounced "EYE-JA-LAWN-A" --- Was a four-year starter (53 consecutive games) for the Wildcats --- Named 1st Team All-CAA in 2008, 2009 and 2010 --- A 1st Team FCS All-American as a junior and senior --- Helped lead Villanova to the FCS National Championship as a junior --- Parents are Nigerian-born --- Was also a champion wrestler in high school --- Primarily a soccer player as a youth and didn't begin focusing on football until the age of 14 --- Played left tackle entire college career but could also project to right tackle or perhaps move inside to offensive guard at the next level --- Similar in many ways to Vladimir Ducasse, who was selected in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the New York Jets out of Massachusetts --- Would arguably be in the first round conversation if he was an inch taller and hailed from a "big-time" program --- Still raw and will have to adjust to a leap in competition but is clearly the premier small school sleeper in this class and has the talent / physical tools to be a starter in the NFL.
  2. The Realist

    The Realist Active Member

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    I'm playing him at LG.

    This year's Ducasse.
  3. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    I was looking at him a while ago. One thing is that he does have a lot of experience since Villanova made the playoffs the last two years. He has played a lot of games. Love how someone said he would be a first rd prospect if he was ONE INCH TALLER. I remember Gil Brandt once moaning that they did not pick Mike Singletary when they had the chance because he was one inch below their minimum height. I can understand if he was only 6'1"; you would have to think about a guard that short. But 6'4" is fine. Guidelines are great but as regards HEIGHT you really need to use that only as a qualifier if the person is several inches away from it- NOT ONE.
  4. BAT

    BAT Mr. Fixit

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    I like Ijalana too, especially in the 3rd. His recent hernia surgery really worries me tho. Some hernia's are recurring and others take forever (as in over a year) to recover 100%, if at all.
  5. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Sports hernia?
  6. TheFinisher

    TheFinisher Well-Known Member

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    No way he makes it to the 3rd.
  7. Cowboy Brian

    Cowboy Brian Romo 2 Austin Zone Supporter

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    He reminds me of Vlad.Ducasse from last years class
  8. RS12

    RS12 Well-Known Member

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    This is troubling for a thinking position.
  9. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    some of the weaknesses mentioned seem to contradict some of the strengths mentioned. Now a guard would not need as much as a tackle does in some of those areas; I think he is more suited to guard. Where not a whole lot of thinking is required- just the ability to read and react on blitzes and stunts.
  10. Teague31

    Teague31 Defender of the Star

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    think i saw a mock with him going in the first to NE with their second first rounder.
  11. cowboyjoe

    cowboyjoe Well-Known Member

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    this guy reminds me of a young Larry Allen

    this is a man among boys at offensive line position

    if the cowboys dont trade back up in first round and take carmini, OT, then I see them taking this guy with their 2nd round pick if he is there

    not saying if he will be there, but if he is i think cowboys will swarm all over him
  12. TheFinisher

    TheFinisher Well-Known Member

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    I agree, he's very strong and has that small school mystic like LA had.

    early 2nd is a prime spot to land some great interior line talent though, whether i's Ijalana, Wiz, or Pouncey.
  13. btcutter

    btcutter Well-Known Member

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    Take the one that you really want...not just the one that's left over if possible.
  14. UnoDallas

    UnoDallas Benched

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    Who gained, lost in All-Star games

    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/story/14659505/stock-report-who-gained-lost-in-allstar-games


    Missed opportunity

    Ben Ijalana, OG, Villanova
    Despite earning All-American honors at left tackle for the Wildcats, there might not have been a player who lost out more due to his inability to compete at senior all-star games than Ijalana. That Ijalana dominated FCS competition is obvious on tape, but the reality is, he was rarely challenged. A sports hernia prevented Ijalana from participating in the Senior Bowl. He needed that appearance to counter the perception of some in the scouting community that he's a 'tweener who isn't athletic enough to remain outside at offensive tackle or physical enough to compete early in his career at guard.
  15. UnoDallas

    UnoDallas Benched

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    Who gained, lost in All-Star games

    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/story/14659505/stock-report-who-gained-lost-in-allstar-games


    Missed opportunity

    Ben Ijalana, OG, Villanova
    Despite earning All-American honors at left tackle for the Wildcats, there might not have been a player who lost out more due to his inability to compete at senior all-star games than Ijalana. That Ijalana dominated FCS competition is obvious on tape, but the reality is, he was rarely challenged. A sports hernia prevented Ijalana from participating in the Senior Bowl. He needed that appearance to counter the perception of some in the scouting community that he's a 'tweener who isn't athletic enough to remain outside at offensive tackle or physical enough to compete early in his career at guard.
  16. realtick

    realtick Benched

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    I like him as a guard.

    Along similiar lines, I'm still puzzled why the Cowboys never gave Robert Brewster a shot at OG. He has textbook size and skills set for the position.
  17. MarionBarberThe4th

    MarionBarberThe4th Well-Known Member

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    lolwut? Theyve moved him all around trying to find a position he isnt terrible at
  18. realtick

    realtick Benched

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    They tried him at left and right tackle, he never played OG in a game.

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