Way too early four-round Carolina Panthers 2022 NFL mock draft
Emil Ekiyor Jr. – OG (Alabama)
The Carolina Panthers got themselves a dominant offensive guard from Alabama in the 2021 draft when they selected Deonte Brown in the sixth round. There are some concerns regarding the player’s weight, but few players at the position enter from the college ranks with more impressive production than what he displayed for the Crimson Tide on their way to another convincing national championship success under Nick Saban.
Brown might end up being a productive starter if given time to develop. But the rest of the offensive line does have a serious amount of questions with John Miller, Matt Paradis, and stud right tackle Taylor Moton all out of contract next spring.
If the Panthers opt to look at the draft for potential starters moving forward, then someone like Emil Ekiyor Jr. might be worth keeping on their list of possibilities. He started every game for Bama in 2020 after winning the right guard job during camp and showed all the necessary physical attributes to suggest a solid career at the next level might be in the offing with another impressive campaign next season.
There is a lot of football to be played between now and when Ekiyor Jr. could hear his name called, so putting him in the fourth round is just speculation at this point. However, what is not up for debate is the prospect’s big-game experience and high upside, which should be on full display with more responsibility on his shoulders in 2021 after Alex Leatherwood, Landon Dickerson, and Brown all left for the NFL.