Advertisement

NFL analyst: Panthers could sign top free-agent LT, move Ikem Ekwonu to LG

Could one move fix two problems for the Carolina Panthers’ offensive line?

While finding fits for this offseason’s top 50 free agents, ex-NFL safety and current ESPN analyst Matt Bowen proposed an interesting idea for Carolina. He believes the team could sign left tackle Trent Brown and move their usual blindside protector in Ikem Ekwonu to the guard position.

Bowen writes of Brown, who is listed at No. 41 in his rankings:

The offensive line in Carolina played subpar football in the 2023 season. But adding a 6-foot-8, 370-pounder to play the left tackle spot — while moving Ikem Ekwonu inside to guard — would help turn things around. Brown used his massive frame to absorb power rushers in New England last season, and despite his limited foot quickness, he’s better in space than you’d think. The Panthers took 65 sacks (tied for second most) last season, so improvements are a must.

62 of those 65 sacks were taken by rookie quarterback Bryce Young. The No. 1 overall pick got burned a few times by Ekwonu, who got burned a bit too many times by speed rushers off the edge.

Pro Football Focus charged Ekwonu with 11 sacks and 44 pressures over 684 opportunities in 2023, helping lead to an overall offensive grade of 67.4 and a pass-blocking grade of 62.3. By comparison, the former Pro Bowler Brown was responsible for three sacks and 17 pressures over 334 chances with grades of 80.2 and 72.8.

Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire