It's been a busy day in Colts Nation. CBS is reporting that the Indianapolis have inked 2011 second round pick Ben Ijlana from Villanova. Ijalana is expected to play either guard or right tackle. The Colts were able to draft move up and pick Ijalana in this year's draft after they traded their second round pick (No. 53) and their fifth rounder (No. 152 overall) to the Redskins.
Run blocking: When evaluating an offensive lineman you want to see a bit of a nasty streak and Ijalana has the drive to finish off plays. He has a quick first step that gives him an advantage in getting inside hands and leverage. He uses his long arms to lock out the defender and drive them off the football. Ijalana needs to work on being more consistent with this technique and pad level but overall he has the skills to be an effective run blocker in the NFL.
Final word: Ijalana is a good looking prospect with the a ton of upside. His overall build and athletic ability will intrigue NFL teams because he is basically an un-molded piece of clay. I have concerns about his weight distribution and technique but most of those issues can be corrected with coaching. Something, you cannot teach is long arms and Ijalana has the length to effectively lock out defenders. He will also get some love because of his versatility. Ijalana has the size and skills to play either tackle or guard in the NFL.
Not long after the draft, Colts general manager Chris Polian said the team projects Ijalana as a long-term right tackle.