Carolina Panthers and Ikem Ekwonu got a stroke of good luck
According to the Panthers’ Confidential video, Ikem Ekwonu was the first offensive tackle the team broke the film down on. It seemed like offensive line coach James Campen was particularly impressed with what the North Carolina State product could bring to the Carolina Panthers.
Scouts were impressed by Ekwonu’s ability to lead as well. Cole Spencer, the college scouting director, spoke about how the blindside protector is everything a team would want in a player and said that it was just a matter of him being available at No. 6 overall.
At one point during the video, Matt Rhule and Scott Fitterer were going over scenarios for the order of the top six picks in the draft, and they ended up with Ekwonu. This prompted the general manager to declare:
"“So that would be great, but there’s no way that happens. That’d be too good.”"
At another point in the video, Dan Morgan and Spencer are discussing a scenario where two corners go in the top five picks, resulting in the Panthers being lucky enough to get Ekwonu. Something that ended up occurring as all defensive players went in the top five and gave Carolina the opportunity of a lifetime.
Rhule even said that Campen had a tear running down his eye after the selection.
"“Our O-line coach had a little tear running down his eye.”"
Ekwonu is a tremendous prospect and the organization was lucky to select him. This is also a tremendous bit of good luck for the player, who grew up as a Panthers fan and now has the chance to become the franchise left tackle that they’ve craved since Jordan Gross retired.