Villanova football's notable left tackle, Ben Ijalana checked in at the NFL combine in Indianapolis today, ready to show scouts what he is capable of bringing to a team. His official measurements on check-in were:
- Height: slightly under 6'3"
- Weight: 317lbs
- Arms: 36"
Though mock drafts have projected him to be picked in the high second round or late first round, a good to great combine performance will greatly help to solidify his position on draft boards. That is especially true since an injury forced him to miss last month's Senior Bowl.
According to an article on NJ.com:
Yet the combine presents an important opportunity for Ijalana, who is widely considered among the top offensive linemen in the draft and could be selected late in the first round or in the second round.
[. . .]
"Whatever the opportunity, they need to be bigger, better and faster than the BCS kids," said NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock, a former Giants safety.
"Because the BCS kids get the benefit of every doubt. I really think smaller school kids are penalized at least a round — a full round — because of where they come from. They got to make that up in the all-star game, the Pro Days or the combine."
If Ijalana is picked in the second round, he would be the first Villanova player picked that high since Howie Long in the early 80's. Should he rise to become a first round pick, it would be the first Villanovan picked that high since Mike Siani in 1972.
UPDATE 4:14pm: Fact on Villanova Sports relayed a report that Ijalana is at the combine but will not participate in workouts because of ongoing recovery from his sports hernia. Hopefully he will be able to participate fully in the Pro Day early next month.