NFL Mock Draft: 4 first-round targets for Washington after recent surge
By Jerry Trotta
2. Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
Washington picked a good year to be in need of offensive line help, because the 2022 class is loaded with bookends at every position.
In a college football season that has seen a litany of OL boost their stock, Ikem Ekwonu might be the biggest beneficiary of them all. Widely viewed as a mid-round and potential first-round prospect in the spring, the NC State behemoth is now a shoo-in to be drafted in Round 1.
Much like Sam Cosmi, Washington’s second-round gem from the 2021 draft, Ekwonu is a menace as a run-blocker. If he didn’t have a future in the NFL, he’d make an excellent road paver, because all Ekwonu is create real estate for his teammates.
The 6-foot-4, 325-pound lineman’s athleticism makes him a great fit in Scott Turner’s exotic offensive scheme. Better still? His ability to play tackle and guard, both needs for Washington with Charles Leno Jr. and Brandon Scherff on expiring contracts, makes him one of the most unique OL prospects in the 2022 class.
Ekwonu can be off the board within the first handful of selections and nobody would bat an eyelash. Conversely, he could fall to the middle or end of the first round and it wouldn’t come as a surprise. If he does slip, though, Washington would have another foundational offensive piece to build around.