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Prospect Profiles: Ben Ijalana

BEN IJALANA, OL, VILLANOVA

Triangle Numbers: 6-3,317, 5.36

Scouting Reports:

Draft Countdown:

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

Sideline Scouting:

Positives: Good athlete… Good size with very long arms… Plays with good strength and power… Very solid drive blocker… Keeps his feet moving on contact… Blocks with reasonably good leverage… Gets movement in the running game… Can pull and get to the second level… Good flexibility and body control… Does a nice job breaking down and getting into linebackers… Does a good job bringing his feet… Good awareness, keeps his head on a swivel… Nice balance… Good pass protector… Good anchor, does a good job holding his ground… Good lateral movement, slide and quickness… Reasonably good feet… Good short area quickness and agility… Does a nice job mirroring defender… Carries his pads reasonably well… Does a nice job redirecting… Good arm extension, is generally first to make contact… Very solid punch when he can land it squarely… Dominated in the Football Championship Subdivision… Will get a lot of looks at Offensive Tackle due to his long arms.

Negatives: Bends at the waist, needs to get better knee bend… Rises up to soon in pass protection, will play too upright at times… Doesn’t always get and maintain good leverage in pass protection… Allows his footwork to get choppy… Can be beat by quick fluid edge rushers… Reasonably good but not a consistent finisher… Appears to lack a mean streak… Can play physical but is more finesse than mauler… Wasn’t tested much at Villanova and didn’t play in any of the senior All-Star games… Ijalana was recovering from recent Sports Hernia surgery and was unable to workout at the combine.

National Football Post:

A gifted athlete for his size who displays good range off the edge in pass protection and has the kind of athleticism needed to play on the left side in the NFL. Does a nice job quickly changing directions and redirecting in space, displays a lateral burst when asked to mirror one-on-one and exhibits the range to reach the corner. Is still raw with his footwork and too often stands upright initially off the snap and will get overextended on his kick-slide. However, he’s a long-armed kid who sticks to blocks well once he gets a hold of defenders and is a really heavy-handed kid. Possesses a good first step off the snap and is able to consistently get around defenders and seal, and has improved getting off the snap count on time as a senior.

Has really improved his overall pad level as a run blocker as a senior. Does a much better job sitting into his stance, firing off the football low, extending his arms and keeping his feet under him through contact. A downright dominant in-line guy at the I-AA level who can routinely get under defenders, lock out and drive linemen off the ball. Is also very coordinated on the move, possesses good range when asked to pull, step and seal quickly inside and does a great job breaking down and eliminating a defender at the second level.

Impression: A downright dominant small-school blocker with a great physical/athletic skill set. Needs to continue to improve his footwork on his kick-slide, but he’s a gifted enough athlete to pick that up quickly. The biggest question for Ijalana is, where does he best fit? He’s long enough to play left tackle and physical enough to play guard. Either way he’s one of the better offensive line prospects at this stage and in my view you let him get comfortable at guard in year one and see if he can make the move to left tackle in year two.

VIDEO:

[pro-player width=’530′ height=’253′ type=’video’]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Opf5INfXt3I[/pro-player]

GiantsGab Thoughts:

Ben Ijalana is a small school prospect who has been gaining a lot of press and steam lately. A college left tackle at Villanova, he’ll probably have to move inside to guard at the next level. He’s almost identical to last year’s 2nd round pick Vlad Ducasse. Small school left tackles, both have to move inside. Ducasse had growing pains coming from the I-AA level, and didn’t start for the Jets. Ijalana will probably have to sit a year. That’s not good for a team like the Giants that needs depth. They sent a whole contingent to see his Pro Day. Ijalana is a late first, early 2nd round pick. He would be a reach at 19. He’s raw. He’s not going to start right away, or play right away. He’s a risk, because it’s hard to know how these smal school guys will adjust. I would stay away. Giants are obviously intrigued. It could mean nothing. He would probably not be there in the 2nd round for the Giants to take, so either a trade up or a trade down would be necessary. I don’t like the fit, but that’s just me.

PREVIOUS PROFILES:

Gabe Carimi

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Mike Pouncey

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Alex Linnenkohl

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Luke Stocker

Lee Smith

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LB

Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA

Bruce Carter North Carolina

Greg Jones, Michigan State

Dontay Moch, LB, Nevada

Mason Foster, LB, Washington

KJ Wright, LB, Mississippi State

Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M

Quan Sturdivant, LB, UNC

Martez Wilson, LB, Illinois

Colin McCarthy, LB, Miami (FL)

Casey Matthews, LB, Oregon

Nate Irving, LB, NC State

Akeem Dent, LB, Georgia

Doug Hogue, LB, Syracuse

RB

Mark Ingram

DeMarco Murray

Roy Helu, Jr

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Jordan Todman

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Kendall Hunter

WR:

Jerrel Jernigan

Randall Cobb

Titus Young

Niles Paul

Ronald Johnson

Dwayne Harris

Dane Sanzenbacher

DL

Aldon Smith

Jarvis Jenkins

Phil Taylor

Corey Liuget

Pernell McPhee

Christian Ballard

Ryan Kerrigan

Ian Williams

Drake Nevis

Justin Houston

Cedric Thornton

Muhammad Wilkerson

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Ahmad Black

Robert Sands

Will Hill

 


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12 Responses to “Prospect Profiles: Ben Ijalana”

  1. Adam Y says:

    hey can you do a profile on Marcus Gilchrist , from Clemson, ive been hearing some good things about him and hes been climbing some boards

  2. Adam Y says:

    haha just saw his under previous players, nevermind -_-

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