Jordan Gross – Former Carolina Panthers OT
In recent Carolina Panthers history, the left tackle spot has been a revolving door and that has been the case since Jordan Gross retired in 2013.
Gross was the most consistent player that Carolina ever had anchoring the blindspot. The team can only hope that rookie Ikem Ekwonu can provide that level of consistency in the future.
Hopes are high for the North Carolina State product after he fell into the Panthers’ laps at No. 6 overall. But expecting him to perform to the high standard set by Gross right out of the gate is unrealistic.
The former All-Pro was an accomplished blindside presence who was a model of consistency. Gross was also a supreme leader within the locker room to further enhance his overall influence.
During his 10-year career with the Panthers, Gross made a first-team All-Pro and was a three-time Pro Bowler. He is now in the team’s Hall of Honor after a sensational career with the team that set the bar extremely high for countless others who have tried to fill the void ever since he hung up his cleats.
Ekwonu is the future. An athletic phenom that can hopefully become a worthy successor to Gross at long last.