4 pleasant surprises for the Panthers vs. Cardinals in Week 4

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Reggie Bonnafon
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Reggie Bonnafon /
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Carolina Panthers
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Yetur Gross-Matos /

Yetur Gross-Matos – Carolina Panthers DE

It’s been a rough start to life at the next level for Yetur Gross-Matos. The defensive end was taken in the second round by the Carolina Panthers thanks to his supreme athletic traits, but it hasn’t been the opening to his professional career that the player anticipated.

Gross-Matos has suffered some nagging injury problems that have undoubtedly hampered his period of transition. Not having a preseason to fully acclimatize seems to have affected the Penn State sensation more than most and this was further reflected in his playing time through the first three weeks of the campaign.

The edge rusher has seen the field very little in 2020 so far. While he was only ever set for a rotational role initially, a standout performance at training camp had him No. 2 on Carolina’s unofficial depth chart ahead of Stephen Weatherly.

He is still a little rough around the edges, of that there is little doubt. But if his performance against the Cardinals was any indication, there could be bigger and better things to come.

Gross-Matos showed the sort of burst that made him such a hot commodity prior to the draft. This saw the rookie attain his first strip-sack of his professional career, which was all part of his finest showing of the campaign by some margin.

This is another potent weapon at Carolina’s disposal if they can get Gross-Matos firing on all cylinders. His physical attributes are there for all to see and the Panthers are going to have some player on their hands once he put everything together consistently.