LAS VEGAS, Nev. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — With the sixth pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers selected offensive tackle Ickey Ekwonu, the Charlotte native.
“Ickey you ready to stay in Carolina?” asked David Tepper.
“Yessir I’m ready to stay,” responded Ekwonu.
“I’m telling you what we are so happy to get you, man,” Tepper continued. “We are just so happy to get you.”
The 6-foot-4, 310-pound N.C. State product withholds an extraordinary combination of size, agility, and a sturdy frame that could allow for an elongated career.
“I’m just gonna do everything I can to be the best player — the best person I can be,” said Ekwonu. “I’m from the area, I love Charlotte so much.”
The first-team All-ACC lineman recorded an incredible junior year, lifting the Wolfpack to a 9-3 season, landing atop a loaded ACC Atlantic conference.
“There’s no doubt that he can pass set — that he can run block,” said head coach Matt Rhule. “He’s got all those tools.”
In our ‘NFL Draft Preview’ article, we broke down each player with the possibility of being drafted by the Panthers barring any last-minute trades.
Carolina had its choice of the top three quarterbacks in the draft at No. 6 — Liberty’s Malik Willis, Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett, and Mississippi’s Matt Corral.
However, they decided to go with Ekwonu, as the team needed security for their quarterback most of all.
Since the Panthers lost Jordan Gross in 2013, they have had 16 players start at left tackle.