5 Carolina Panthers players with genuine superstar potential

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Ian Thomas
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Ian Thomas /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Yetur Gross-Matos /

Yetur Gross-Matos – EDGE

The Carolina Panthers defense has taken some major hits over the past couple of seasons losing stars like Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis, and Mario Addison. With all of these departures, it has left them with one of the worst pass-rushing defenses in the league.

The Panthers made that their focus on draft night and took some young pass rushers who they believe will help rebuild their defense. One of the prospects taken was Penn State star Yetur Gross-Matos.

In 11 games with the Nittany Lions last season, the edge player finished with 40 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, and nine sacks. Gross-Matos was listed as one of the best pass rushers in this draft but luckily he fell to the Panthers in the second round.

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Gross-Matos has a great build for a pass rusher. He is listed at 6-foot-5 and 265 pounds. The player didn’t run the 40-yard dash at the combine but in his college film, he was very explosive and had more than enough speed to catch running backs coming out of the backfield.

He did participate in other drills at the combine and had a solid performance. Gross-Matos had a 34 inch vertical, reached 20 reps on the bench, and had the sixth-best broad jump at 120. His athleticism is there and he is great at using it to his advantage.

Gross-Matos will be a part of a very inexperienced defensive line but it will allow him to prove he belongs as a starter. He has all of the size, strength, and athleticism to become a great pass rusher in the NFL.

The Panthers have a history of getting the most out of their pass rushers with players in the past like Kony Ealy, Addison, Kyle Love, Greg Hardy, and Charles Johnson achieving great things in their time in Carolina.

If the Panthers give Gross-Matos time to develop and grow as a player, he can become an amazing pass rusher to play opposite of rising star Brian Burns.