Carolina Panthers Draft: Grading the Yetur Gross-Matos pick

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Yetur Gross-Matos
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Yetur Gross-Matos /

The Carolina Panthers made another bold move by taking prolific edge rusher Yetur Gross-Matos, but was it a wise decision?

The Carolina Panthers have shown a real desire to improve their pass-rushing options with their early NFL Draft picks. First, it was Derrick Brown on the defensive interior and now the franchise has gone with Penn State standout Yetur Gross-Matos in the second round.

This is going to further boost an area of the field that has a real potential to be dominant in 2020. Gross-Matos is a freakish athlete who has all the explosive traits you look for in a defensive end at the next level.

He is a physical presence who got off blocks with ease during his college career. It was a big shock to see Gross-Matos fall out of the first round. But somebody’s loss is definitely Carolina’s gain.

There were some intriguing options in areas of need at cornerback and safety. But general manager Marty Hurney must like what he sees in Gross-Matos and watching his tape it is not hard to understand why.

His upside is sky high and if the prospect can refine his pass-rushing moves and work on his technique, then the Panthers have a real player on their hands. Adding him to a line that also includes Brown, Kawann Short, Brian Burns, and Stephen Weatherly could be the catalyst for a vastly improved campaign defensively for the organization.

Gross-Matos does not have any immediate pressure on his shoulder in terms of contributing right away. Learning behind Weatherly and Burns while coming in either at defensive end or as an outside linebacker is going to do his long-term prospects the world of good.

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This represents a high-value pick for the Panthers, who need as many bodies that can get to the quarterback as possible in order to remain competitive in the NFC South. Gross-Matos has wreaking machine potential at the next level and it is a great pick.

Grade: B+