Realistic career expectations for every Panthers 2022 draft pick

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

Ikem Ekwonu – Carolina Panthers OT

The crown jewel of the Carolina Panthers 2022 draft class is left tackle Ikem Ekwonu. When five defensive players were taken within the first five picks of the draft, the organization had its pick of the litter when it came to blindside protectors and they didn’t overthink it, taking arguably the best one.

Ekwonu was projected to go anywhere from pick one to five and the fact that he even fell to six is a huge win for the Panthers. The tenacity and ability to run-block and pass-protect are unmatched and Carolina might actually have its first franchise left tackle since Jordan Gross almost a decade ago.

The North Carolina State product still has to calm down his speed of play just a tad to be more consistent and slightly work on his timing. But it’s hard to imagine him not working out.

When it comes to offensive linemen, the bust potential is always higher but his talent just seems too elite. Ekwonu will undoubtedly be the Panthers’ starting left tackle on Day 1 and that will immediately allow fans to get a better idea of just how good he can be.

The sky is the limit for Ekwonu. It’s that simple, really.

Realistic career expectation: Perrenial Pro Bowler.

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