Jaguars must consider taking Ikem Ekwonu at No. 1 in the 2022 NFL Draft

Jaguars, OL, Ikem Ekwonu (Photo by Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Jaguars, OL, Ikem Ekwonu (Photo by Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

Other prospects have garnered more attention ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft but it will be hard for the Jacksonville Jaguars to justify passing on North Carolina State’s Ikem Ekwonu. While many speak highly of the Alabama Crimson Tide’s Evan Neal, Ekwonu hails from a smaller but upcoming collegiate program — thanks in part to his tenacity.

When you possess any football player with ability, coachability, talent, and versatility in the same package, you are in good hands. Ekwonu’s roots should be the first facet of his profile that stands out to the Jaguars.

Ikem Ekwonu’s background should stand out to the Jaguars’ organization.

The name ‘Ikem’ is short for Ikemefun, which translates to “My effort will not be in vain.” Ekwonu hails from a family whose roots are based in Nigeria. His father, T.J., was 6-6 and played collegiate basketball, while his mother, Amaka, was a high school track star. Safe to say, the North Carolina State standout has been on the receiving end of his parents’ genes. Here’s a small sample of what he brings to the table.

Ekwonu stands at 6-4 and weighs approximately 325 pounds. While just passing the threshold for the average size of an NFL offensive linemen, his intellect surpasses the majority of most. Not many prospects, let alone normal human beings, can say that Harvard and Yale offered them scholarships for their Ivy League programs. Most importantly, the Wolfpack’s best player separates himself from all other prospects in the following area as well.

The Jaguars can check a lot of boxes by selecting Ekwonu.

In terms of size, there may be larger physical specimens along the offensive front in the 2022 NFL Draft. However, there is minimal pushback to counter anyone who states that Ekwonu is the most violent prospect in April’s draft class.

For a Jaguars team that has struggled to find an identity along the offensive front, they need to look no further than Ekwonu. A player with elite athletic ability,  above-average football i.q., and an unheard-of competitive toughness may be a first in any NFL Draft. The Black and Teal can check the boxes of finding Cam Robinson’s replacement, protecting Trevor Lawrence, and taking the best player available by selecting Ekwonu with the top selection in April.

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