Ickey Ekwonu will “definitely compete” at left tackle

NFL: APR 28 2022 Draft
Getty Images

The Panthers didn’t hesitate to select Charlotte native Ickey Ekwonu with the sixth overall pick in the 2022 draft. They will hesitate, at least a little, to plug him in as the Day One starter at left tackle.

Appearing recently on #PFTPM, Panthers G.M. Scott Fitterer said that Ekwonu will compete at left tackle with Brady Christensen, a third-round pick in 2021.

“I thought Brady Christensen — he’ll work out there as well at left tackle,” Fitterer said. “One of his biggest strengths is his versatility. He can play guard, he can play center, he can play on the right side, and he’s done all that even as a rookie. We’ll work them both at left tackle. If Ickey takes that spot and runs with it, which is why we took him in the first round, that’s great. . . . We’ll be fine when it comes to that but yes, Ickey will definitely compete at left tackle for us.”

Although the Panthers wanted Ikwonu first and foremost as a player, his connection to the city and region is a major plus.

It’s great because he’s going to have all the support he needs right here,” Fitterer said. “He comes from a great family. Went to school literally 20 minutes here from the stadium. Grew up a Panther fan. That’s really all a plus. We drafted him because of the player he is, because of the intangibles he has, what he can do for our team. Last year, we drafted Jaycee Horn, who’s from South Carolina. We have a North Carolina-South Carolina connection. Just happened to work out that way. Both really good players. It’s a nice bonus to have when you add local guys.”

It’ll be a bigger bonus if they become great players. In that same interview, Fitterer attributed the struggles of Sam Darnold to the struggles of the offensive line. If the line improves with Ekwonu as a part of it, quarterback play will improve, too.

2 responses to “Ickey Ekwonu will “definitely compete” at left tackle

  1. Matt Rhule should spend his free time updating his resume.

    He will get another job offer right away.

    Carolina should be staring at a top 3 pick next year and the NEXT coach will finally get Matt Rhule’s QB.

    Don’t take it personally Matt, it was just the wrong job.

  2. If Matt Rhule implodes out of the gate in 2022, he will be fired before the season ends or even earlier than that??? He will be on a short leash.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.