The Indianapolis Colts traded their 2nd Round pick (No. 53) and their fifth rounder (No. 152 overall) to take offensive tackle Ben Ijalana of Villanova. Ijalana is the second offensive lineman the Colts have selected in this draft. Yesterday, the Colts took Anthony Castonzo with the No. 22 overall pick.
While players like defensive tackle Stephen Paea were still on the board, it is now very clear that the offensive line was a primary area that needed a massive infusion of talent. Castonzo and Ijalana provide that. Ijalana can play both tackle and guard, and for a team that has struggled so much in recent years to run the football, upgrading the o-line was critical.
These moves send a strong message to Peyton Manning, who is 35-years-old and a free agent: The Colts are serious about upgrading the men blocking in front of him. It's also pretty clear that Ijalana was a kid Bill Polian had targeted. The team sent a scout to his Pro Day back in April.
What are your thoughts on this pick? My initial feelings are that it's a GREAT selection. The one warning is that the last time the Colts made a trade to get an o-lineman in the second round, it was Tony Ugoh in 2007.
Hopefully, Ijalana can make a positive impact for a while.