Carolina Panthers rookie grades ahead of preseason Week 2

(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Corral
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Corral /
2 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Ikem Ekwonu /

Ikem Ekwonu – Carolina Panthers OT

The Carolina Panthers future franchise left tackle had a very solid debut against the Washington Commanders. Ikem Ekwonu looked just how you would want a top10 selection to look in their preseason debut.

Strong, stout, and full of potential.

He was matched up against Washington’s Montez Sweat for most of his reps and held his own against him. I’d take this as a good sign as the edge rusher can compete with the best of them.

Performance Grade: B+

Ekwonu performed well enough to officially be named the starter at the left tackle position moving forward. An exciting moment for every fan after years of inept blindside production.

Matt Corral – Carolina Panthers QB

Matt Corral was the fourth quarterback to play at the Commanders. It wasn’t very encouraging and it’s probably fair to understand why he currently sits at this spot on the Panthers’ depth chart right now.

To be fair to Corral, the offensive line he was playing behind and the weapons at the player’s disposal didn’t help. However, the third-round pick out of Ole Miss seemed to never be in control and appeared to be rattled in a half-filled stadium during a preseason game.

He completed just one of nine passes for 11 yards and spent most of the game running for his life.

Performance Grade: D

Corral did lead – I don’t know if I can call it that but we have to take our wins somewhere – Carolina down the field for the game-winning field goal without completing a pass. That has to count for something.