4 reasons drafting Ikem Ekwonu was the perfect Carolina Panthers move

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Ikem Ekwonu
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Ikem Ekwonu /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Ikem Ekwonu /

Ikem Ekwonu fills a huge need for the Carolina Panthers

Perhaps the biggest positive Ikem Ekwonu brings to the Carolina Panthers is his positional value.

The franchise has been missing a good left tackle for the better part of a decade since Jordan Gross hung up the cleats. And the Panthers’ offensive line was one of, if not the worst unit in the NFL during the 2021 campaign.

The selection of the former North Carolina State Wolfpack star finishes up the offseason re-haul across the protection. Ekwonu fills the last piece of that puzzle and this can hopefully become a strong group barring injury.

To be fair to Sam Darnold, P.J. Walker, and Cam Newton, most quarterbacks would have struggled last season if they had the lack of protection those three were given by the line. The additions of Brady Bozeman and Austin Corbett shore up the interior, but the left tackle spot was still a question mark heading into draft night.

Carolina filled that need in a big way with the selection of Ekwonu.

The left tackle spot was not the largest need for the Panthers, and they will still need to fill the quarterback position. But it is safe to say Carolina got good value out of the No. 6 overall selection with the top guy on their draft board.

Simply put, this is something that the quarterbacks in this year’s class would not have provided if Carolina chose to go down the route of selecting one of them in the top 10.