5 college left tackles the Carolina Panthers should watch closely in 2021

(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) Evan Neal
(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) Evan Neal /
4 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) Ikem Ekwonu /

Ikem Ekwonu – NC State

Ikem Ekwonu might not be at the top of everybody’s list of prospects. But that should not detract from what a special player he is.

The North Carolina State star comes with a fun-loving demeanor that instantly changes to a ruthless killer when he crossed the white lines. Ekwonu is a violent blocker who simply mauls opponents with brute stretch, with the prospect also boasting the sort of footwork that goes down well at the next level for good measure.

Ekwonu has had experience playing at left tackle and guard in college. Again, the sort of versatility loved by those picking players within the Carolina Panthers.

Just where he’d be best-suited once he gets to the pros is unclear. Pro Football Network compared him to Alijah Vera-Tucker in their recent scouting report, who was drafted in the first round by the New York Jets in 2021.

Much will obviously depend on where Ekwonu plays next season and just how much he brings his game on.

There is some work needed when it comes to pass protection. But the Panthers should keep an eye on Ekwonu’s progress when competitive action begins to see how hard the player has been working to develop this vital area of his game.