Ben Ijalana   OG   Villanova

TALENT BOARD

 Round 6


 

STRENGTHS

Ben has decent size to play guard.  He looks on film to have good mental strength and physical stamina; he also shows pride in his blocking.  He is ok out of his stance; his first step vertically is a lopping hop-step that most kids learn playing hop scotch.  Ben looks like he is a good teammate.  However, even at the level he is playing now (Div II), he is not the quickest lineman I've seen, but he does have some size and strong athletic abilities.  As I watch Ben on film, I do see the possibility of him playing center at the next level if he can handle the mental part of that position.  I would work him out at center because with his size and arm length, he could be a good center against 4-3 defenses.   

 

CONCERNS

Ben is not quick, fast, strong or athletic enough for the NFL at this point of his career.  That does not mean that he won't be, it just means that he has an unusually long way to go to become average.  He has not learned the techniques that will be needed to block for the run and he does not show the consistent aggressive play that he will need to be successful as a guard for the NFL level.  Maybe down the road Ben will be good, but at this point of his career, Ben is a developmental right guard or perhaps a right tackle.  He might be best suited for the center position...I guess that's possible.

   

BOTTOM LINE

I'm sure Ben is a great kid.  The truth is, when I watched him on film, I was not impressed because he did not dominate.  Also on film Ben looks like he is 6'6" or 6'7" tall.  He was measured at the combine to be 6'3"! That might put in perspective for you the size and quality of the players Ben was up against and.. Ben did not dominate.  He was bigger and stronger (in many match-ups), but he was not quicker, faster or smarter.  So tell me again why Ben should be selected in prime time?  In my opinion, prime time is not for developmental players who have played in Division II schools and are not better athletes than the players they are playing against.  Ben had some good games, but he is not quick out of his stance and his foot speed is slow along with his change of direction skills.  This makes it hard to use him as a pulling guard or to go out to the next level and block.  It's possible that Ben could be made into a decent center.  That, I could see happening, but any other position I think it is a big time stretch.  Seriously... who suggested this kid was ready to play in the NFL?  If you want to draft Ben in the later rounds and train him for some other team, then go right ahead and select him.  Like I said, I'm sure Ben is a good kid and I have been wrong about players many times and just maybe Ben will be drafted and become the best offensive lineman to ever play the game of football.  Additionally, it could be that the scout that suggested that his team select Ben will be the next millionaire and own an NFL franchise!  It could happen!  

 

 The BS Detector 

 Drew Boylhart   March/11