Roughly half of the NFL’s 32 teams are expected to attend Villanova offensive lineman Ben Ijalana’s pro day Wednesday, according to a league source.
Ijalana will work out at Villanova after missing the NFL Scouting Combine in February because of hernia surgery, and 14 offensive line coaches are expected to attend, along with some personnel directors. Ijalana has drawn late first-round grades from some teams.
Some teams project Ijalana as a guard, but he was a dominant tackle at the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision level and could sneak into the first round of the NFL draft later this month.
Teams picking late in the first round, such as the Philadelphia Eagles (who know the Villanova program well because of its proximity), Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers, have been monitoring Ijalana’s progress, and the Buffalo Bills could have interest with their pick early in the second round.
Ijalana will have to show some quickness, and scouts are eager to see how he bends his knees because he has been knocked for bending at the waist. With a strong showing, he could begin to mount more first-round buzz.
Ijalana has three team visits planned for next week as of now, according to the source.