Panthers Select OT ‘Ickey’ Ekwonu With 6th Pick In NFL Draft

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North Carolina State offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu poses on the red carpet before first round of the NFL football draft Thursday, April 28, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong )

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers addressed a longstanding need by selecting offensive tackle Ikem “Ickey” Ekwonu from North Carolina State with the sixth pick in the NFL draft.

The 6-foot-4, 310-pound Charlotte native is expected to start right away at left tackle.

Ekwonu was the first offensive player taken in Thursday night’s draft following five defensive players being chosen.

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The Panthers don’t have a draft pick in the second or third round after trading for quarterback Sam Darnold and cornerback C.J. Henderson last year.

Their next pick is in the fourth round at No. 137.