Any team looking to beef up its offensive line in the 2022 NFL Draft should start with Ikem Ekwonu. A unanimous All-American last season, Ekwonu was named the ACC's best blocker (won the Jacobs Blocking Award) and is versatile enough to play either tackle or guard in the pros, and probably right away. After a strong showing at the Scouting Combine, Ekwonu solidified his status as a top-10 pick, and could even be in consideration for No. 1 overall.
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Ikem Ekwonu Draft Profile
College: NC State
He played guard and tackle at NC State and could play either spot in the pros, but Ekwonu stood out as an elite left tackle last season. He’s absolutely dominant at the point of attack, with rare power and the ability to drive defenders off the line of scrimmage immediately. He operates with a vicious mean streak that makes him an absolute game-changer in the run game. He’s a nimble mover as well, though, with the ability to get out into space in an outside-zone scheme and erase defenders. As a pass protector, he has long arms to mitigate his lack of “height” and usually looks to quick set and take control of the rep early. His experience playing inside shows up in his ability to locate blitzers as well as react to tackle-end games.
Ekwonu still has a little bit of work to do as far as diversifying his pass sets, as he will have to mix it up against NFL defenders after dominating with quick sets at the college level.
Ekwonu will be an immediate upgrade for any run game — especially outside-zone — with the ability to plug in at tackle or guard depending on a team’s need. With a little refinement as a pass protector, there’s All-Pro potential.