Panthers add Yetur Gross-Matos to pass rush in Round 2

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The Carolina Panthers selected defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos out of Penn State in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, 38th overall.

He will join a Panthers defensive line that added Auburn tackle Derrick Brown in Round 1. Carolina used its first-round selection on another lineman last year, going with edge rusher Brian Burns from Florida State.

Gross-Matos posted 36.5 tackles for loss and 18.5 sacks over three campaigns with the Nittany Lions, doing most of that damage over his final two seasons.

Prospect Profile

School: Penn State
Height: 6-5
Weight: 266 lbs

Positives

  • Good size with outstanding length
  • Quick first step off the line to gain ground on opponent
  • Powerful hands to beat punch and disengage from blocks
  • Runs the arc with speed and bend around edge
  • Excellent change-of-direction skill to challenge offensive tackles laterally
  • Sets good edge against the run
  • Demonstrates effort through rep and refuses to stay blocked
  • Has necessary athleticism in space for 3-4 OLB role
  • Great tackle-for-loss and sack production over last two years

Negatives

  • Still developing hand usage to unlock full rush arsenal
  • Better hand placement required to consistently make most of length
  • Must maintain better gap discipline in run game

Bottom line

Gross-Matos should have little trouble making an instant impact at the next level thanks to his explosiveness. But what's most exciting about his NFL future is the potential for growth in his game - his frame leaves plenty of room for added mass. And after beginning to show signs of an expanded pass-rush arsenal, NFL coaching may be all he needs to push his game over the top. Gross-Matos is going to be a nightmare to block if he can develop the more technical aspects of his pass rush to complement his rare athletic abilities.

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Panthers add Yetur Gross-Matos to pass rush in Round 2
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