40 time: 5.03
Projection: First Round
Overview: A legitimate contender for the top overall pick with body control, violence and technical prowess to entice coaches and scouts. Perhaps even more impressive is the classroom and football intelligence Ekwonu exhibited in interviews and up-close sessions with NFL teams and evaluators in the pre-draft process. His background is remarkable. The son of a doctor who played college basketball and a mother with a track background, Ekwonu was a high school wrestler and ran track despite being over 280 pounds. He was also in stage drama and musicals. Earned offers from Harvard and Yale but passed in favor of playing at the FBS level. Ekwonu took over the starting left tackle job midway through freshman season, then started at left guard as a sophomore for four games before moving back. Added versatility only sweetens the pot for NFL teams.
Strengths: Powerhouse run blocker with a mean streak. Great knee bender with flexible lower half. Could move inside to guard and dominate. Easy mover in the open field and brings a ton of value as a puller. Heavyweight hitter who fires his hands with elite speed. Aware of surroundings and won't get caught off guard. Great at sealing angles. Knows how to combine technique with his physical traits. Phenomenal flashes of body control. Connected well between his hands and feet and doesn't let them get out of order as a pass blocker. Quality anchor will keep him from getting overwhelmed by a bull rush. Controlled aggression as a pass blocker keeps him from mental mistakes.
Weaknesses: Likes to drop his shoulder on targets in the run game rather than stay square. Can be taken out by a good push/pull if he gets caught leaning. Length isn't ideal. Loses angle too easily in the run game when working diagonally.
Pro Comp: Zack Martin, Dallas Cowboys -- Martin moved inside after spending his college career at tackle, and has been one of the most impressive performers in the NFL over the past decade. Ekwonu is a bit more brutish with his approach, with upside to develop into one of the most dominant offensive linemen in the league.