Villanova offensive tackle Ben Ijalana became the second player from a Philadelphia school to be drafted this year when the Indianapolis Colts took him with the 49th overall pick in the NFL Draft. Ijalana joins Temple's Muhammad Wilkerson in the NFL, after Wilkerson was taken at the end of the first round by the New York Jets.â†µ
Colts blog Stampede Blue was a fan of the Ijalana 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.â†µ
Our Jets blog, Gang Green Nation was less excited by WIlkerson, but was still positive.â†µ
I cannot say I am disappointed. While I think a pass rushing outside linebacker is unquestionably a bigger need, all of the guys available at the spot, namely Brooks Reed and Akeem Ayers, had significant question marks. I think Wilkerson will be pretty good. Others are much higher on him. It was the safe pick. It also gives the team a measure of insurance with Shaun Ellis' and Trevor Pryce's statuses up in the air.â†µ