Why Panthers rookie Ickey Ekwonu just can’t stop smiling

Carolina Panthers rookie Ickey Ekwonu’s love of the game is shining through during his first NFL training camp

The Carolina Panthers went into the 2022 offseason needing plenty of help along the offensive line, and they landed perhaps the best blocker in this year’s draft class when North Carolina State’s Ickey Ekwonu fell to them at the No. 6 overall pick.

Ekwonu is getting his first taste of NFL training camp, and his love of the game has him smiling from ear to ear just talking about it.

An all-conference pick at both guard and tackle, Ekwonu brings elite versatility and a well-rounded skill set to Carolina, where he’s being tested against an elite speed rusher in Brian Burns.

After Monday’s practice, Ekwonu talked about what he’s enjoying most about practice, how lining up against Burns in practice is helping prepare him for his first season in the league, and more:

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2022 NFL Schedules: All 32 Teams

2022 NFL Schedules By Teams. The schedules for all 32 franchises

Every team’s 2022 NFL schedule. The team-by-team schedules for all 32 franchises.

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2022 NFL Schedules By Teams

AFC East

Buffalo | Draft Analysis
Miami | Draft Analysis
New England | Draft Analysis
New York Jets | Draft Analysis  

AFC North

Baltimore | Draft Analysis
Cincinnati | Draft Analysis
Cleveland | Draft Analysis
Pittsburgh | Draft Analysis

AFC South

Houston | Draft Analysis
Indianapolis | Draft Analysis
Jacksonville | Draft Analysis
Tennessee | Draft Analysis

AFC West

Denver | Draft Analysis
Kansas City | Draft Analysis
Las Vegas | Draft Analysis
LA Chargers | Draft Analysis

NFC East

Dallas | Draft Analysis
NY Giants | Draft Analysis
Philadelphia | Draft Analysis
Washington | Draft Analysis

NFC North

Chicago | Draft Analysis
Detroit | Draft Analysis
Green Bay | Draft Analysis
Minnesota | Draft Analysis

NFC South

Atlanta | Draft Analysis
Carolina | Draft Analysis
New Orleans | Draft Analysis
Tampa Bay | Draft Analysis

NFC West

Arizona | Draft Analysis
LA Rams | Draft Analysis
San Francisco | Draft Analysis
Seattle | Draft Analysis

2022 College Football Schedules: All 131 Teams

2022 Arizona Cardinals Schedule: NEXT

Panthers agree to terms with 3rd-round pick Matt Corral

The Carolina Panthers have agreed to terms on a four-year rookie contract with third-round quarterback Matt Corral

The Carolina Panthers have finally agreed to terms with quarterback Matt Corral on his four-year, fully-guaranteed rookie contract.

Corral, a third-round pick in the 2022 NFL draft out of Mississippi, could compete with Sam Darnold for the backup job in Carolina, assuming the newly acquired Baker Mayfield takes the starting gig under center.

A tough competitor and respected leader with a versatile skill set, Corral has all the tools to eventually develop into a quality starter down the line.

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NFL Letdown Games for Every Team

What are the potential letdown games for every NFL team? They’re the battles that should be a problem.

What games are the ones each NFL team has to look out for? It’s a LONG season with plenty of lulls, so which games are set up to be a letdown moment for every team?

Predicting each outcome takes into account location, scheduling fatigue, matchup intensity, and much more. These are the games – including the sandwich battles between two giant opponents – that each team should probably win, but might have issues.

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2022 NFL Schedules

2022 NFL Draft: Day 3 Needs, Picks For Each Team, Mock Draft Prospects

2022 NFL Draft: Day 3 needs for each team with mock draft possibilities

2022 NFL Draft: Team by team look at the possibilities for each remaining Day 3 pick for rounds 4, 5, 6, 7

2022 NFL Draft: Day 3 Needs For Each Team

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Contact/Follow @ColFootballNews | @PeteFiutak

Traditionally and statistically, Day 3 of the NFL Draft is a total wasteland. You’re far, far better packaging your picks to move up into the top three rounds of a future draft – the odds of getting a consistently decent starter are shockingly small.

But every team thinks it can make magic out of the Day 3 mess of prospects, and it’s worth a shot to dumb-luck into a possible mainstay. What are the remaining needs that need to be filled for each team? Here are every team’s picks so far with the possibilities of who they could get.

Of course this all blows up once the trades start flying, but the idea is to give a rough snapshot of what each team might be able to do.

NFL Draft 2022: Carolina Panthers Draft Analysis From The College Perspective

Carolina Panthers NFL Draft 2022 needs, analysis, picks, and biggest reaches and values – from the college perspective

2022 NFL Draft: From the college perspective, Carolina Panthers draft analysis, needs, picks, best value selection, and biggest reach

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NFL Draft 2022: Carolina Panthers Draft Analysis

Contact/Follow @ColFootballNews & @PeteFiutak

2022 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings, Analysis
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | OTsOGs & Cs | DEs & Edge | DTs
LBs | Ss | CBs | 50 Greatest Value Draft Picks Ever
NFL Draft by college over last 5 years: 1-130 rankings
3 Greatest Picks ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC 

Scroll down for Carolina’s 2022 draft slots, last year’s picks, and best values and biggest reaches

WATCH: Panthers CB Jaycee Horn grabs 1st career interception

Watch Carolina Panthers rookie cornerback Jaycee Horn get his first career interception

The Carolina Panthers spent the No. 8 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft on cornerback Jaycee Horn, hoping to get a shutdown artist who could make big plays for their defense.

Horn delivered on the top-10 hype in Week 2, grabbing his first career interception in Carolina’s victory over the New Orleans Saints.

Horn’s father, Joe, was a four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Saints, which likely made this memorable moment just a little more fun.

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Jeremy Chinn makes NFL history with defensive TDs on back-to-back plays

Carolina Panthers rookie Jeremy Chinn made NFL history by scoring defensive touchdowns on back-to-back plays Sunday

The Carolina Panthers may have lost a heartbreaker to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, but they still saw some NFL history made by rookie defensive back Jeremy Chinn.

A second-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft out of Southern Illinois, Chinn scored defensive touchdowns on back-to-back plays during Sunday’s game.

One of the favorites to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, Chinn has been making plays all over the field for the Panthers this season, showing off the same athleticism and versatility that made him a Senior Bowl standout.

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Why Panthers fans should be excited about Derrick Brown

In the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers landed a dominant force for their defensive line in Auburn’s Derrick Brown

The Carolina Panthers stuck to their board and selected former Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

An offensive tackle was often mocked to the Panthers in the months leading up to the draft, but it appears that Brown’s ability to plug up the middle of a defense was too tempting to pass up for new head coach Matt Rhule and company. We believe that they made an excellent decision. We’re happy to see that Brown’s average testing at the NFL Scouting Combine didn’t push him down the board, because quite frankly, that would have been a mistake.

Brown was a complete game-wrecker throughout his time as a Tiger. He uses his powerful upper body to push offensive linemen around. His club move is his signature, and it’s very impressive. O-linemen rarely stood a chance in pass protection when tasked with trying to stop Brown from causing havoc in the backfield. It’s not just his upper body that features incredible strength. In fact, Brown’s lower body and leg drive are equally as powerful and impressive on tape. Brown also has a quick first step off the ball for a man that comes in at 326 pounds. He moves incredibly well for his size.

It’s a new era in Carolina, and this Panthers regime will build this team how they see fit. The selection of Brown should go a long way in hinting how Carolina want to play football in 2020 and beyond. This is going to be an extremely tough football team up the middle, and Brown is the foundation of their future.

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2020 NFL Draft: Carolina Panthers team preview

Everything Carolina Panthers fans need to know heading into the 2020 NFL Draft

Everything Carolina Panthers fans need to know heading into the 2020 NFL Draft.


Head Coach: Matt Rhule

General Manager: Marty Hurney

2019 Record: 5-11


1 (7)

2 (38)

3 (69)

4 (113)

5 (152)

6 (184)

7 (221)



The sudden retirement of All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly left a hole in the middle of the Panthers defense. Addressing that spot early on in the NFL Draft will be key for Carolina and new head coach Matt Rhule. It wouldn’t hurt for them to take more than one linebacker in this class. The top of the list is Isaiah Simmons who could play a hybrid linebacker-safety for the defense.


Top cornerback from the 2019 season James Bradberry left to the New York Giants through free agency leaving a hole for the defense. Ross Cockrell who was also a free agent from the 2019 season remains unsigned. The dream scenario would be Jeffrey Okudah sliding outside of the top five to allow Carolina to swoop in and snag the top cornerback of the class. CJ Henderson is also another viable option as he is seemingly gaining momentum as the NFL Draft approaches.


Probably a need that is likely addressed on day two of the NFL Draft, safety is also a concerning need for this team. The back seven could use some attention and with targets such as Ashtyn Davis, Antoine Winfield, Jr., Xavier McKinney or one of the small-school prospects. There are plenty to choose from. The team did sign Tre Boston to a three-year deal, but they could use depth and an eventual starter.


Isaiah Simmons | LB | Clemson

Jeffrey Okudah | CB| Ohio State

Derrick Brown | DL | Auburn

Javon Kinlaw | DL | South Carolina

CJ Henderson | CB | Florida

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