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Most of the prospects expected to go in the top 10 of the 2022 NFL draft were highly-rated coming out of high school.

So, it's a good year for recruiting services.

But they didn't hit on every prospect.

Coming out of Providence Day School (North Carolina) in the class of 2019, Ikem Ekwonu proved to be a hidden gem.

While the first five picks in the NFL draft were defensive prospects, Ekownu ended that offensive slide by going No. 6 overall to the Carolina Panthers. 

The Charlotte-area athlete stays home! 

Here's how Ekwonu was rated as a prospect in his recruiting cycle:


Ranking: 3-star prospect (guard); Nation's No. 33 offensive guard

Notable: Ekwonu had some significant offers - Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia - but clearly college coaching staffs also treated him like a mid-level prospect.

He proved them all wrong. 



Ranking: 3-star prospect (guard); No national ranking, no positional ranking, No. 38 prospect in North Carolina 

Notable: Rivals didn't rank Ekwonu at all in positional rankings - and he was listed as a guard. 


Ranking: 3-star prospect (guard); Nation's No. 26 guard, No. 27 prospect in North Carolina 

Notable: All three scouting services saw Ekwonu as a future guard - something a few teams believe could be a part of his future at the NFL level.

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