4 emerging alphas on the Carolina Panthers in 2023

Derrick Brown
Derrick Brown / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Which Carolina Panthers players appear to be emerging alphas both on and off the field heading into the upcoming 2023 campaign?

Even though it's been an offseason full of landmark changes across the Carolina Panthers, there was already a core nucleus of talent in place. Something that made their head coach opening one of the league's most appealing with plenty of interest before Frank Reich won the job.

There is an enormous amount of excitement as a new era dawns for the Panthers. Integrating so many fresh faces and implementing scheme changes is the biggest remaining obstacle, but everything seems to be going according to plan so far despite Reich stating they were only around 50 percent through the installation process.

It could go either way for the Panthers next season. Nobody is realistically expecting a Super Bowl title in the first campaign with Reich at the helm, but one couldn't dismiss a potential NFC South title challenge providing there are no unnecessary complications and every big-time performer reaches their respective goals.

On this topic, we picked out four Panthers players who appear to be emerging alphas heading into the 2023 season.

Ikem Ekwonu - Carolina Panthers OT

The Carolina Panthers drafted Ikem Ekwonu at No 6 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft to become their franchise left tackle. After one campaign in a starting role, it appears as if they've found their guy at long last.

Ekwonu got a rough ride over the opening fortnight last season before recovering superbly. His run blocking was outstanding as expected, but his emergence as a supreme pass protector was perhaps the biggest surprise considering the player's pre-draft concerns.

There is an infectious enthusiasm matched by ruthless aggression that's hard not to love where Ekwonu is concerned. If the former North Carolina State stud makes additional improvements this offseason, then his alpha status is assured.