Cam Mellor of Pro Football Network has the Pittsburgh Steelers selecting NC State tackle Ikem Ekwonu in his latest mock 2022 NFL Draft, released last week.
Ekwonu is a 6-foot-4, 300-pound tackle that declared for the draft after three seasons with the Wolfpack.
He started at left tackle as a freshman in 2019, earning FWAA Freshman All-America and PFF All-Freshman Team. He also spent time at left guard in 2020, earning All-ACC honors at both positions. Ekwonu is noted as a tough player, a solid pass protector and is expected to be able to stick at left tackle in the NFL.
Mellor’s mock draft is something of outlier when it comes to Ekwonu, whose average draft position is currently seventh according to NFL Mock Draft Database. Mellor had the Steelers choosing the big tackle over quarterbacks Kenny Pickett and Carson Strong and fellow lineman Trevor Penning.
“Pittsburgh needs help all across the line and Ekwonu has positional versatility to help across the board,” Mellor wrote. “He’s got great hands and terrific strength. He even proved to be more than capable of holding down the left tackle spot. This is a no-brainer for Pittsburgh, which needs a lot of help on offense.”
Dan Moore Jr. started at left tackle for the Steelers in 2021 but could be a candidate to move to right tackle or guard should the team acquire a player like Ekwonu.