Ikem Ekwonu - Carolina Panthers OT
After a promising rookie season, expectations were high for Ikem Ekwonu entering his second campaign. But the Charlotte native has struggled mightily in his sophomore year at the NFL level.
As a top 10 prospect in 2022, Ekwonu was expected to step in and grow into a complete offensive tackle. Instead, he has regressed as many players have from last season's Carolina Panthers team.
In the running game, Ekwonu still has shown the ability to be an okay run blocker. However, it is nowhere close to where he was as a rookie.
On top of that, he and seemingly everyone else on the offensive line have been beaten frequently in pass protection. This is leading franchise quarterback Bryce Young to take more hits than he should.
The injury to starting left guard Brady Christensen, a completely different coaching staff, and teams figuring out his weaknesses have all played a role in Ekwonu's regression. He has a lot of work to do to get his career back on track.
It is still very early in what will likely be a long and successful career for Ekwonu. However, his second season in the league has been a difficult one so far.