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Ben Ijalana to Indianapolis Colts: 2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report
Posted By Collin McCollough On April 29, 2011 @ 7:31 pm In Colts News | No Comments
Far from a hyper-visible prospect in college, Villanova’s Ben Ijalana is one of the most intriguing small-school prospects in the 2011 NFL draft.
The 6′4″, 320-pound former Wildcat dominated the FCS level, starting all 52 games of his collegiate career, helping his team reach a 40-13 record in his career. In 2010, Villanova’s offense averaged over 380 yards per game, due in no small part to Ijalana’s exceptional run and pass-blocking skills.
Many scouts are enamored with Ijalana’s length, athleticism and footwork. He has drawn several comparisons to Vladimir Ducasse, a similarly-built player drafted in the second round last year by the New York Jets . Scouts love his agility and propensity for getting to the second level and taking on linebackers.
Ijalana’s biggest drawback is his lack of visibility. Some scouts worry that playing against FCS competition won’t adequately prepare him for the NFL. In 2011, Ijalana did receive an invitation to play in the senior bowl and work out at the NFL scouting combine, but had to sit out of both due to a hernia injury, which ultimately improved to further hamper scouts’ efforts to see the former Wildcat against pro prospect competition.
The Villanova prospect likely projects as an offensive guard at the NFL level, though it’s possible that he could slide over to right tackle for a few teams. Look for him to start immediately on the Indianapolis Colts ‘ weak interior offensive line and pair with rookie Anthony Castonzo to form a renewed offensive line.
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