Depth chart projections for every Carolina Panthers 2022 draft pick

(Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) Ikem Ekwonu
(Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) Ikem Ekwonu /
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Carolina Panthers
(Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) Ikem Ekwonu /

Ikem Ekwonu – Carolina Panthers OT

  • Left Tackle No. 1

The Carolina Panthers were contemplating moving back from No. 6 overall and according to general manager, Scott Fitterer had good offers from elsewhere to do so. However, when Ikem Ekwonu fell out of the top five and into their laps, it was an opportunity those in power just could not pass up.

Ekwonu is a local hero from North Carolina State that was reportedly the No.1  player on Carolina’s board. This also solves a major need for the Panthers, who have not had any real consistency at the left tackle position since Jordan Gross retired.

That is a long time to wait for a successor. But it would be a major disappointment if Ekwonu didn’t immediately step and perform to a level not seen for quite some time.

There is an infectious enthusiasm to Ekwonu’s game that’s hard not to love. This is matched by ruthless aggression and elite athleticism in equal measure – traits that will go down extremely well in the pros.

Ekwonu is a Day 1 starter with Pro Bowl or better potential. Adding the prospect to an offensive line that has been bolstered significantly this offseason could be all Carolina needs to make substantial strides in this area of the field.