2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Ikem Ekwonu
By Charlie Campbell
Summary: Over the past three seasons, Ekwonu 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. Ekwonu played guard and tackle again in 2020 and then left tackle in 2021. After his third season, Ekwonu announced he was skipping his senior year to enter the 2022 NFL Draft.
Ekwonu has some real nastiness in the ground game, where he is a fierce run blocker. Ekwonu 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. Ekwonu is quick out of his stance and fires to the second level. It is rare to see offensive linemen who are as fast as Ekwonu is in a straight line, and he is a real asset to get downfield on screens. Ekwonu 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, Ekwonu is very gifted, possessing a combination of athleticism, quickness and agility. His foor speed helps create depth in his drop to take away the edge from speed rushers. He can also play the typewriter with his feet, gliding and mirroring them to force them off balance. On top of his ability to move, Ekwonu has natural strength to anchor and stop bull rushes. Ekwonu is a smooth mover with the power to finish off defenders and to keep them from putting pressure on the quarterback.
For the NFL, Ekwonu 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. Ekwonu 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, Ekwonu should have improved technique in the early portion of his career.
Ekwonu looks like a future starting left tackle in the NFL, and he could end up being a very good pro who is a franchise left tackle. He is worthy a top-10 choice in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Player Comparison: Jedrick Wills. Ekwonu compares well with 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 Ekwonu could be a similar style blocker in the NFL.
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