Myles Garrett is schooling Panthers first-round rookie Ickey Ekwonu

·2 min read

Carolina Panthers first-round rookie left tackle Ikem “Ickey” Ekwonu came into his first NFL game with the honor of being the first offensive player taken in in the 2022 draft (sixth overall by the Panthers), with the best use of his nickname since Elbert “Ickey” Woods, and with a rather daunting first official assignment.

Ekwonu would have to deal with Myles Garrett, the Cleveland Browns’ elite pass-rusher, in his professional debut. It did not go well, as Ekwonu gave up back-to-back sacks to Garrett in the third quarter of what we all know as the Baker Mayfield Revenge Game.

Well, the rookie has not helped his quarterback in that revenge gambit. With 6:16 left in the third quarter, Ekwonu just lost Garrett around the arc.

And then, on the very next play, and even with chip help, Ekwonu just couldn’t contain Garrett around the arc… again.

This shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Ekwonu came out of North Carolina State with a well-deserved rep as a power-blocker, but with some required technique work around the edge.

This showed up in one of the two sacks he allowed to the New England Patriots in Week 2 of the preseason. Here, Ekwonu had to deal with Josh Uche, and just as was the case before, he got out late, failed to be aggressive with his hands, and ended up in a bad place.

However! On this Mayfield 75-yard touchdown pass to Robby Anderson, Ekwonu got out of his stance with more urgency, and that allowed him to at least keep Garrett at bay long enough for his quarterback to complete the deep pass.

More of that, and Ekwonu will come out of this game shooting par against Garrett, which is more than can be said for a lot of tackles with far more experience.

Story originally appeared on Touchdown Wire