North Carolina State
High-End Starter Potential
Ikem Ekwonu is a pancake savant. He has placed a defender on their backs 154 times in the last two years. Ekwonu has arguably the quickest feet of all linemen in the 2022 NFL draft. The former Pop Warner RB had dreams of being a Jerome Bettis style RB and, and his fascination with the Ickey shuffle as a Pop Warner player is still something he admires today and has mastered. He is also an entrepreneur who sold Cutco knives door to door while in high school. In addition to all of that, Ikem is from a family of athletes. His twin brother is a Notre Dame LB; his dad was a professional basketball player in Nigeria, and his mother was a high school track star. In High School, Ikem was also a wrestler.
His pedigree is undeniable, and his on-field tape is also very telling. Projected to be a versatile player at the NFL level, he is a wide-bodied tackle with good length. He is a very good athlete who can anchor well with good body control. Defenders will not run through or bull rush Ekwonu with ease.
His overall awareness has come a long way in a short period which points towards him being a high IQ player. Ekwonu uses first-step quickness in pass pro to latch onto a defender quickly. When he fails to win with initial quickness, he has the length and lateral quickness to recover, but at the NFL level, his success will be dependent on his ability to latch on and finish consistently. Ekwonu currently possesses our second-highest ceiling grade at his position.
PLAYSTYLE & SCHEME FIT