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View Full Version : Ben Ijalana, OT / OG, Villanova - Questions?


JohnCandy
02-07-2011, 09:28 AM
-What is his best pro position?

At 6'3" 320lbs he screams LG but does he have what it takes to move inside in the pros?

-Where will he be drafted?

He appears in most publications/websites to be a 1st/2nd round player.

-How does he compare to other top guards Marcus Cannon and Mike Pouncey?

JBScouting
02-07-2011, 10:08 AM
-What is his best pro position?

At 6'3" 320lbs he screams LG but does he have what it takes to move inside in the pros?

-Where will he be drafted?

He appears in most publications/websites to be a 1st/2nd round player.

-How does he compare to other top guards Marcus Cannon and Mike Pouncey?

Not sure what Shane and Scott think but I have him rated as a 2nd round pick. He has everything but the ideal height to be a tackle in the NFL so he is likely going to be a guard. However, I have seen a few 6'4 tackles so it is not impossible he can stay at tackle but he is a road grader who blocks well in the run game and might make an even better right guard in the NFL.

TimmG6376
02-07-2011, 10:23 AM
Not sure what Shane and Scott think but I have him rated as a 2nd round pick. He has everything but the ideal height to be a tackle in the NFL so he is likely going to be a guard. However, I have seen a few 6'4 tackles so it is not impossible he can stay at tackle but he is a road grader who blocks well in the run game and might make an even better right guard in the NFL.

That raises an interesting question. How much of a difference is there between RG & LG? I understand the difference between RT and LT, but I don't quite get why LG and RG shouldn't be interchangeable. Why wouldn't you want two "road graders" on the inside?

killxswitch
02-07-2011, 10:30 AM
That raises an interesting question. How much of a difference is there between RG & LG? I understand the difference between RT and LT, but I don't quite get why LG and RG shouldn't be interchangeable. Why wouldn't you want two "road graders" on the inside?

Part of that probably depends on scheme. Lots of teams have one guard they prefer to pull on stretch plays and other outside runs. In some blocking schemes the guards may be more or less interchangeable. Just depends on the team. I won't pretend to know every teams' blocking scheme but maybe others can chime in with their specific teams' guard philosophy. Can't say much for the Colts because our guards just suck so it doesn't really matter much which bad guard plays which position. I do think the coaches would ideally like the RG to be the pulling guard.

JBScouting
02-07-2011, 10:53 AM
That raises an interesting question. How much of a difference is there between RG & LG? I understand the difference between RT and LT, but I don't quite get why LG and RG shouldn't be interchangeable. Why wouldn't you want two "road graders" on the inside?

Good question. Right side tends to be the side you run on more so that is why folks say that. With that said, guards can usually play either side so it really isn't that big of a deal. Just saying by first choice because some guards aren't road graders that you prefer to put some of them on the side you run at less and since Ijalana is a road grader some would put him on the right side first. And as someone else said whichever side you like to pull from most could affect it also. Some guards are much better at pulling than others.

Matthew Jones
02-07-2011, 11:47 AM
-What is his best pro position?

At 6'3" 320lbs he screams LG but does he have what it takes to move inside in the pros?

-Where will he be drafted?

He appears in most publications/websites to be a 1st/2nd round player.

-How does he compare to other top guards Marcus Cannon and Mike Pouncey?

I might be biased because of watching him vs. the lower level of competition but I think he has the tools to be an offensive tackle at the next level, although guard is a nice fallback if he fails there. He's quick enough to pull and strong enough to maul defensive tackles in the run game. I see him being drafted early in the second round, possibly in the top 40 picks or so. I like him more than Cannon and Pouncey overall - more physical than either one and some have questioned Cannon's passion. I wouldn't say any one of them is a lock to go before the others. The first logical landing spot I see for one of those guys is Philadelphia, who like their offensive linemen big. If someone like Gabe Carimi is off the board, they could target someone to man the right guard or right tackle position.

JohnCandy
02-07-2011, 12:54 PM
I might be biased because of watching him vs. the lower level of competition but I think he has the tools to be an offensive tackle at the next level, although guard is a nice fallback if he fails there. He's quick enough to pull and strong enough to maul defensive tackles in the run game. I see him being drafted early in the second round, possibly in the top 40 picks or so. I like him more than Cannon and Pouncey overall - more physical than either one and some have questioned Cannon's passion. I wouldn't say any one of them is a lock to go before the others. The first logical landing spot I see for one of those guys is Philadelphia, who like their offensive linemen big. If someone like Gabe Carimi is off the board, they could target someone to man the right guard or right tackle position.

I look at him as a reasonable option for the Bears at 29.

The Bears are desperate for interior OL help and Ijalana looks like he could hold up well in the passing attack of the Bears.

gpngc
02-07-2011, 12:57 PM
I've read reports from guys who think he can absolutely play LT at the next level.

I've personally never seen him play but to get that kind of praise you have to be skilled.

Black Bolt
02-07-2011, 03:11 PM
Part of that probably depends on scheme. Lots of teams have one guard they prefer to pull on stretch plays and other outside runs. In some blocking schemes the guards may be more or less interchangeable. Just depends on the team. I won't pretend to know every teams' blocking scheme but maybe others can chime in with their specific teams' guard philosophy. Can't say much for the Colts because our guards just suck so it doesn't really matter much which bad guard plays which position. I do think the coaches would ideally like the RG to be the pulling guard.

The Steelers "road grater" LG pulls all the time.

RaiderNation
02-07-2011, 04:33 PM
I dont see him as a OT in the NFL, unless he has to slide to say RT because of a injury. Mid 2nd- early 3rd OG type prospect

Black Bolt
02-07-2011, 05:19 PM
I dont see him as a OT in the NFL, unless he has to slide to say RT because of a injury. Mid 2nd- early 3rd OG type prospect

In other worlds, someone we need to consider heavily.

regoob2
02-07-2011, 06:38 PM
I look at him as a reasonable option for the Bears at 29.

The Bears are desperate for interior OL help and Ijalana looks like he could hold up well in the passing attack of the Bears.
I second this. He has great feet and quickness. I think he can be a late 1st.

Chidi29
02-07-2011, 07:53 PM
I think guard is his best option but he'll be a terrific one. Nasty run blocker with a lot of power. But I don't think he'd do well at tackle. His kickslide looks pretty sloppy and his lateral agility isn't anything special.

wogitalia
02-07-2011, 09:50 PM
I think a lot of the interior OL is based on the differences around the RT and LT. Traditionally the RT is the power run blocker, so traditionally you would run right primarily. As a result of this you want a road grader at RG as he will be important on right sided runs and you would generally want a more agile LG who is more capable of pulling and going to the 2nd level on a run to the right.

Obviously this is based on the RT being the stronger run blocker, if this isn't the case you basically can flip it and it obviously wont always apply.

jnew76
02-07-2011, 10:09 PM
I am curious as to his arm length and wingspan. I did not see it in Scott's Senior Bowl coverage. IMO, most tackles are 6'5" and over because they have longer arms that can keep opposing DE/OLB's from engaging them first and getting into their body. Ijalana has the feet and strength to play OT in the NFL. If he has abnormally long arms, I could see him being drafted to play the right side.

JohnCandy
02-08-2011, 12:08 PM
I watched some of his tape against Montana and he is physically dominant.

I could easily see a team taking him with the plan to play him at OG, because he lacks the height, and being thrilled when he can also plat OT.

Versatility on the OL is a major plus.

Abaddon
02-08-2011, 12:18 PM
In other worlds, someone we need to consider heavily.

Aye. Put him next to Veldheer and you just might have something.

Grab Moffitt for the pivot and you're looking at a potential win.

TACKLE
02-17-2011, 12:18 PM
I might be biased because of watching him vs. the lower level of competition but I think he has the tools to be an offensive tackle at the next level, although guard is a nice fallback if he fails there. He's quick enough to pull and strong enough to maul defensive tackles in the run game. I see him being drafted early in the second round, possibly in the top 40 picks or so. I like him more than Cannon and Pouncey overall - more physical than either one and some have questioned Cannon's passion. I wouldn't say any one of them is a lock to go before the others. The first logical landing spot I see for one of those guys is Philadelphia, who like their offensive linemen big. If someone like Gabe Carimi is off the board, they could target someone to man the right guard or right tackle position.

I think a lot of people are still sleeping on Ijalana as legitimate offensive tackle prospect. He has very impressive natural athleticism, plays with great balance and is a natural knee bender. He has been a flat out dominant player at Nova in all areas of his game. We'll have to see what measurements at the combine are but if he comes in at close to 6'4 with 33.5+ inch arms he can still profile as a left tackle prospect. He's still raw technically, but I'd rather have a guy with who is raw and has natural physical tools and movement skills to develop than a guy who uses great technique to compensate for his athletic shortcomings. All indications are he's an intelligent player with a strong work ethic so he should be able to be molded by his O-Line coach. Although this player has had struggles with consistency, Ijalana actually reminds me a lot of Jason Peters and I really believe he can develop into a similar caliber player. I really believe he deserves to be ranked amongst and even above some of the highly touted OT prospects in this draft.