Loser No. 1
Ikem Ekwonu - Carolina Panthers OT
The Carolina Panthers have an Ikem Ekwonu problem right now. There are clear signs of regression during his sophomore campaign, which showed no signs of slowing down in Week 8 against the Houston Texans despite picking up a much-needed win.
Ekwonu struggled in pass protection and contributed significantly to Bryce Young getting sacked six times throughout the clash. The former first-round pick looks like he might be suffering some confidence issues currently, so it remains to be seen how Carolina approaches this issue to avoid any long-term damage.
There is enough talent for Ekwonu to be performing much better. The edge presence also showed enough last season to suggest there is a franchise left tackle somewhere in his locker.
Many fans are calling for the Panthers to switch Ekwonu into the guard position, which might do more harm than good to his hopes of filling the blindside effectively. It's going to take a lot for the coaching staff to make such a drastic choice and it's not like there is another decent option to put at left tackle looking upon further examination of Carolina's current options on the depth chart.
This is going to take a lot of soul-searching for Ekwonu and hard work to improve some technical aspects of his performance. The Panthers cannot afford another high-end draft pick failing to reach their long-term objectives, so handling this ongoing concern the right way is of critical importance.