NEXT ON OUR SCOUTING REPORTS IS IKEM EKWONU. CHECK OUT SOME OF OUR OTHER SCOUTING REPORTS BELOW
- Height: 6’ 4”
- Weight: 320lbs
- College: North Carolina State
- Year: Junior
- Position: Offensive Lineman
NC State Offensive lineman Ikem Ekwonu comes from an athletic background – his mum was a track star in high school, and his dad played basketball at the college level. His brother, Osita, currently lines up for Notre Dame as a linebacker.
Importantly, Ikem Ekwonu has excelled in multiple sports during High School. He was an all-state wrestler (something I love to see in offensive linemen) and incredibly anchored his high school relay time! He also saw action on both sides of the ball, settling more into the offensive line during his senior year.
A 3 star recruit at guard, he committed to NC State in 2019. He initially started from the off at Left guard, before starting some games at left tackle. His ability as a rookie was not unnoticed as he picked up several awards including Freshman All-American and second-team All-ACC honours. 2020 saw a disrupted college football season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however this did not stop Ikem Ekwonu securing second-team All-ACC honors at both guard AND tackle.
Watch the highlights below which shows just how nasty and aggressive Ikem Ekwonu is!
- Run Game
- Football IQ
Ikenwonu is an absolute mauler in the run game and more than happy to work outside the hashes on wide zone runs. His balance is good and he can move opponents to create wide lanes with ease. The NC State man is super aggressive and loves nothing more than pancaking opposing pash rushers, he plays nasty and is a tone-setter in the trenches. Once described as the ‘most feared lineman in the ACC’
Ikewonu is a smart guy (Harvard and Yale offers exemplify this) and his football intelligence is evident. His growth and development over the past year or two, coupled with his understanding of what is going on around him again show this strength. As well as playing at tackle for numerous years, he has had numerous snaps at guard and this will aid teams looking to get the ‘best 5 guys’ on the field in their offensive lines.
- Aggressiveness (!!)
- Passings sets
One of Ikewonu’s greatest assets can also, at times, be his nemesis. His aggressiveness and willingness to try and dominate opponents can lead to him overcompensating and framing blocks at unusual angles. His desire for early contact with opposing pash rushers can see him fail to anchor correctly at times.
Whilst his running game is top notch, his passing blocking ability has come on leaps and bounds in the 2021 season where it is more than adequate. That being said there are still elements he can work on to improve his traditional pass blocking sets
There has been much debate about whether Ikem Ekwonu will find his home at tackle or guard in the NFL. For me, he has more than enough ability to play as a tackle at the NFL level. Although not stylistically the same, a similar debate was had this time last year about Rashawn Slater when he came out of Northwestern. Slater has been an absolute standout for the LA Chargers, and I can see Ikem Ekwonu having a similar impact in year 1.
Feature Image Credit: ROB KINNAN-USA TODAY SPORTS
Video Credit: ACC Digital Network & NCStatePackFootball on YouTube