The Buffalo Bills continued their pre-draft visits Wednesday by hosting Villanova tackle Ben Ijalana.
After playing through the final four games of his senior season with a double hernia, Ijalana had surgery following the season and has missed the entire postseason and pre-draft process, including his pro day and the Combine. Without medical information from the Combine, the Bills were likely passing Ijalana through a physical to see how he is progressing following the surgery.
While his height (6'4") might make him a liability on the edge, Ijalana has exceptionally long arms which allow him to keep defenders off his body. He also has an extensive background as a wrestler, giving him experience in using leverage, and he also hasn't had access to the type of coaching found at a top college program.
Still, concerns about the level of competition, and an overall lack of polish, dog the FCS lineman. He may have been able to put those fears to bed had he been able to play at the Senior Bowl as scheduled.
Here's what Jon Dove of Mocking the Draft had to say about Ijalana in his scouting report:
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.
Mel Kiper had Iajana coming off the board in the late second round in his most recent three-round mock. Ijalana has been forecast as a second- to third-round prospect, and is seen as a tackle-guard 'tweener.