Carolina Panthers bring in QB Sam Howell(UNC) and OL Ickey Ekwonu(N.C. State) for pre draft visits

QB prospect Sam Howell, OL Ickey Ekwonu visiting Panthers
from Chelena Goldman, with

NFL team visits for draft prospects are in full swing ahead of the draft next week, and the Carolina Panthers kicked off the week with visits from a couple hometown players.

Former UNC quarterback Sam Howell and NC State offensive tackle Ickey Ekwonu were two of the most notable prospects to visit with the Panthers on Monday. In addition to being two of the biggest names heading into the draft, both Howell and Ekwonu are Carolina natives who played college football not too far from home.

Howell is coming off of a college campaign in which he was a record-setter for the Tar Heels. Carolina conducted a private throwing session with him after he impressed in a pre-workout interview.

While it isn’t a surprise for an NFL team to work out of quarterbacks ahead of the draft, it’s extra interesting for Carolina given their current QB search. The Panthers were linked to 49ers signal-caller Jimmy Garoppolo just 24 hours earlier as the team tries to find a regular starter for next season and improve on the lackluster tandem from last season that consisted of Sam Darnold, P.J. Walker and Cam Newton.