4 Panthers who could be X-factors against the Raiders

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Curtis Samuel
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Curtis Samuel /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Yetur Gross-Matos /

Yetur Gross-Matos – Carolina Panthers DE

The Carolina Panthers struck it lucky when defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos fell into their laps at No. 38 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. This could be a real coup for the organization if the former Penn State standout brings his form in training camp to the field and he could have a huge say in the overall outcome of their Week 1 clash.

Gross-Matos is an explosive presence off the edge who got into the backfield at will during his time with the Nittany Lions. Things will not be easy for the rookie against more imposing offensive linemen at the next level. But the Panthers appear confident in his ability to make a substantial impact from the off.

The player was listed above free-agent acquisition Stephen Weatherly on their unofficial depth chart this week. Both players should see prominent game time if the ex-Minnesota Viking is healthy enough to go and it will interesting to see just how much pressure they can generate against the formidable Trent Brown, who gave up just one sack last season.

Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock’s knowledge of the college game is exceptional, so they will be fully aware of the impression Gross-Matos could leave on his NFL debut is he isn’t taken seriously. However, stopping the pass-rusher might be easier said than done if he generates some momentum early in the contest.