The Panthers get a cornerstone left tackle with the No. 6 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Ekwonu (6’4, 320) played college football at N.C. State, where he played both tackle and guard. He was a unanimous All-American and was awarded the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the best blocker in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2021. Ekwonu was also a First-team All-ACC selection in 2021, and a Third-team All-ACC selection in 2020.
The Panthers have finally addressed one of their two biggest needs in the first round with the selection of a left tackle who should be penciled in as the Day 1 starter at the second-most important position on the roster. The addition of Ekwonu gives the Panthers some much-needed protection for Sam Darnold — or whoever starts at quarterback in Week 1 — and bolsters an offensive line that has been less than ideal for the last several years. This draft pick — along with the signings of Bradley Bozeman and Austin Corbett in free agency — helps turn one of the Panthers’ biggest weaknesses into a major strength for 2022 and beyond.