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Panthers select offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu with No. 6 pick in 2022 NFL Draft

The Panthers get a cornerstone left tackle with the No. 6 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

2022 NFL Draft - Red Carpet Photo by Mindy Small/Getty Images

With the No. 6 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers have selected offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu.

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.


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