Image Credit: Penn State Athletics.
With the 38th overall selection, the Carolina Panthers selected Penn State defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos.
Gross-Matos was not on anyone’s radar before this year. In his freshman year, he was considered a reserve and only had 17 tackles. In 2018, he earned third-team All-Big Ten and won Penn State’s Defensive Lineman of the Year. However, no one thought he’d be a [first round] pick. This year, Gross-Matos showed tremendous growth. He jumped to first-team all-conference, had 15 tackles for a loss and 9.5 sacks.

Scouting Report

Gross-Matos is the sixth ranked defensive tackle in the broad jump and fourth in the vertical jump. He had trouble with the bench press, but combine numbers don’t mean everything. He is 6-5, 266 pounds. The average NFL defensive lineman is 6-3,  278 pounds. You expect him to be able to get off the line quickly and be more agile than some offensive lineman.
If Gross-Matos wants to be successful in the NFL he needs to work on his punch timing and being more powerful. The quickness is there, but lacks power.

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What the Analysts Say

In the run game he is sufficient as a defender. He will struggle to set the edge against stronger Tackles in the NFL until he gets stronger and learn to use his length better. When he learns to play with his excellent length and get stronger he should become more consistent at disengaging, particularly when he is play side. He can get overwhelmed when he is play side against the run. -Damien Harris, The Draft Network
He’s average at the point of attack by NFL standards, but that should change with additional strength work and more efficient hand usage. The rush toolbox is only halfway full, but it’s just a matter of time before his spin move and a speed-to-power charge become part of a diversified attack. Gross-Matos should be an early starter, but when the power and skill catch up with the athleticism, look for him to become one of the more productive defenders in the league -Lance Zierlein NFL Network

Team Fit

The Carolina Panthers run a 3-4 scheme on defense. DC Eric Washington should have a field day being able to run him in multiple positions along the defensive line. He’ll pair up with former 1st round pick Brian Burns and 2020 first round pick Derrick Brown on the defensive line. They had very little depth at that position – they are absolutely rebuilding that position.

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