4 things the Carolina Panthers must figure out before 2022 camp

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /
3 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brady Christensen /

Carolina Panthers must figure out the best left OL combination

When the Carolina Panthers selected Ikem Ekwonu at No. 6 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft, he was seen as the team’s franchise left tackle and someone that could finally fill the void left by Jordan Gross almost a decade after the All-Pro’s retirement.

However, it might not be that cut and dry.

The Panthers deployed Brady Christensen on the blindside with the starting offensive line unit throughout their mandatory minicamp. Head coach Matt Rhule also stated that he was undecided about who would be their starting left tackle to open camp.

Ekwonu also has experience on the interior, which is something the Panthers are clearly considering. However, it would be a major disappointment if he wasn’t the No. 1 left tackle in Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns and especially considering how reluctant Carolina was to install Christensen at the position during his rookie campaign.

This is a small bump in the road for Ekwonu.

But no more than that.

Rhule added that it might be worth Ekwonu getting his weight down slightly before training camp to give him the best possible chance of coping with the obvious demands being placed on the North Carolina State product. But those in power need to figure out what their starting left-side combination will be to ease continuity concerns.