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Panthers Draft Ikem Ekwonu at No. 6 – Team Fit and Draft Profile

With the sixth XX overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers draft Ikem Ekwonu, an offensive lineman out of North Carolina State. While there are some differing opinions about which position suits Ekwonu best, whether it be offensive tackle or guard, there is no debate that he is one of the top talents in this draft class. He should be a dominating force up front immediately. Let’s take a closer look at Panthers’ newest offensive lineman.

Ikem Ekwonu Highlights

Panthers Draft Ikem Ekwonu | 2022 NFL Draft Profile

Ikem Ekwonu
Position: Offensive Lineman
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 310 lbs
Age: 21
College: NC State Wolfpack

Ikem Ekwonu Draft Profile

Strengths

Ikem Ekwonu has that dog mentality. He is mean on the field, bullying anyone he goes against. His lower body is among the strongest in this draft class, making him a true bulldozer up front. Ekwonu also has great arm length for his size, keeping defenders off of his pads. For teams that want to get better at running the ball, his name is an obvious one to call on draft day.

Weaknesses

Ekwonu’s agility and ability to mirror edge defenders are not where it needs to be to play tackle in the NFL. This, combined with his size, is why most believe he is better suited to play guard in the NFL despite playing exclusively at left tackle last season. Ekwonu’s pass sets are also extremely sloppy, again leading to the narrative that he is better suited to slide inside.



Ikem Ekwonu Draft Profile: Scouting Report, Highlights and 2022 NFL Draft Projection carolina panthers
Credit: Rob Kinnan/USA TODAY Sports

What to Expect From Ikem Ekwonu in 2022

As stated above, there is some debate about which position Ikem Ekwonu should play in the NFL. He played tackle in college, but I believe he is better suited to be a guard at the pro level, due to his lack of length. However, sliding him inside is no demotion. This gives the Panthers a powerful interior offensive lineman who also has tremendous footwork. Sliding him inside also helps to hide some of his deficiencies in pass protection, which makes him a better all-around player.

He will start Week 1 for the Panthers somewhere, and he immediately improves the offensive line as a whole and everyone around him on offense, especially in the running game.


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