After a breakout sophomore season from 2020 first-round pick, Andrew Thomas, the New York Giants must continue to bolster their offensive line to help their struggling offense. Bringing in a bright offensive mind like Brian Daboll at head coach will certainly help quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley, another top-tier offensive lineman like Ikem Ekwonu would be a great addition, too.
Ekwonu is the type of dominant blocker that a team with a highly drafted running back like Saquon Barkley needs. Barkley seemed to be contacted behind the line of scrimmage almost every time he was handed the ball the past few seasons, and guys like Thomas and Ekwonu are maulers that can help open up some running lanes for the explosive back. Daboll and new general manager Joe Schoen have already brought in veteran interior offensive linemen Max Garcia, Jon Feliciano and Mark Glowinski to help reshape this offensive line, and a young tackle like Ekwonu could be the missing piece to really transform this offense.
After selecting Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner with the fourth pick of this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, the New York Jets find themselves sitting at 10th overall in the first round. Sure, a high quality player could fall into their laps at pick 10, but if head coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas love a guy with the upside that Kayvon Thibodeaux possesses, they might decide to use some of their many picks throughout the draft to go up and get their guy.
Kayvon Thibodeaux was once viewed as the sure-fire number one overall pick for the 2022 NFL Draft. He has been very productive throughout his collegiate career at Oregon and has the talent and athletic upside to be a top player in the NFL. People have questioned his attitude and motor as of late, but on tape you see a fiery player that always has the determination to get to the football.
For the Carolina Panthers, I think they run to the podium if Evan Neal or Ikem Ekwonu are still on the board. In this situation in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, they could go with Charles Cross or Malik Willis if they really love him, but as of now, the team does not have a second or a third round pick. If they can find a taker, they could slide down just a bit, gain some of that valuable draft capital, and still get a very talented player in the first round.