Gets in trouble when he doesn't maintain good leverage
Hand placement needs improvement
Hands get too wide at times
Summary: Over the past three seasons, Ekonwu was an impressive blocker for the Wolfpack. He broke into the starting lineup in 2019, making his debut at left guard for four games prior to moving to left tackle for the final seven. Ekonwu played guard and tackle again in 2020 and then left tackle in 2021. After his third season, Ekonwu announced he was skipping his senior year to enter the 2022 NFL Draft.
Ekonwu has some real nastiness in the ground game, where he is a fierce run blocker. Ekonwu blocks through the whistle and is very physical at the point of attack. He has a bad attitude, getting violent with defenders, pushing them around, and challenging them to hold their gaps. Ekonwu is quick out of his stance and fires to the second level. It is rare to see offensive linemen who are as fast as Ekonwu is in a straight line, and he is a real asset to get downfield on screens. Ekonwu is a smooth mover in space, so that combined with his drive-blocking ability makes him a great fit for either a zone-blocking or power man-blocking scheme in the NFL.
As a pass blocker, Ekonwu is very gifted, possessing a combination of athleticism, quickness and agility. He has quick feet to get depth in his drop to take away the edge from speed rushers. He also has natural strength to anchor and stop bull rushes. Ekonwu is a smooth mover with the power to finish off defenders and to keep them from putting pressure on the quarterback.
For the NFL, Ekonwu has some areas he can stand to improve because he is somewhat raw and could use some development in his technique. Sometimes, his hands get too wide, and improving his hand placement will help him to capitalize on his excellent strength. Ekonwu can also get sloppy and bend at the waist at times. He has the ability to use his feet to get in position and not lunge after defenders. After some pro coaching, Ekonwu should have improved technique in the early portion of his career.
Ekonwu looks like a future starting left tackle in the NFL, and he could end up being a very good pro. He is worthy of being selected in the middle of the first round in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Player Comparison: Jedrick Wills. Ekonwu reminds me of Wills coming out of Alabama. Both were fierce run blockers with the quickness and athleticism to block on the edge. Wills has played well to open his career, and Ekonwu could be a similar style blocker in the NFL.