4 Carolina Panthers players set for big things in 2021

(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) Yetur Gross-Matos
(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) Yetur Gross-Matos /
4 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) Yetur Gross-Matos /

Yetur Gross-Matos – Carolina Panthers DE

Much like Donte Jackson, the 2020 season was one of frustration for Yetur Gross-Matos. The second-round pick spent some time on the sidelines through injury and concussion, with a period on the reserve/COVID-19 list another hindrance on his ability to make a lasting contribution during his rookie year.

However, during the time Gross-Matos was on the field, there was plenty to like about the way he applied himself.

The defensive end displayed the sort of explosiveness and consistency getting into the backfield that might see him become a productive starter in time. Considering how poorly free-agent signing Stephen Weatherly performed following his move from the Minnesota Vikings, some increased reps from a starting role in 2021 is a real possibility.

Gross-Matos will spend part of the offseason working with stud edge-rusher Brian Burns and his brother, former NFL player Stanley McClover. This will be a key component in the player’s development and one that could make all the difference in the pursuit of better numbers next time around.

The Carolina Panthers got lucky when Gross-Matos fell into their laps at No. 38 overall. Their defensive front came on leaps and bounds during the season after struggling to generate any sort of meaningful pressure early on unless it came from Burns. So if the Penn State product can take another leap forward this offseason, then Phil Snow will have another versatile, athletic weapon to utilize on an every-down basis.