5 sophomore stars set to shine for the Carolina Panthers in 2021

(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Jeremy Chinn
(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Jeremy Chinn /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) Yetur Gross-Matos /

Yetur Gross-Matos – Carolina Panthers DE

There was plenty to like about the way Yetur Gross-Matos performed down the stretch after some frustrations early on. The second-round pick suffered an injury, a concussion, and also had a spell on the reserve/COVID-19 list that put a dent in his plans to make an immediate contribution. But he did prove more than capable of getting after the quarterback when firing on all cylinders.

The Panthers will be hoping for much more in 2021. Gross-Matos will need to make further developments to his game to make the impact needed, so what comes next will be ultimately down to how hard the player works during the offseason.

Carolina has plenty of options when it comes to generating pressure thanks to the signings of Morgan Fox and Haason Reddick, with another one or two set to arrive via the 2021 NFL Draft. This should ensure Gross-Matos gets enough space to put his explosiveness to good use, which might see a huge leap in numbers next season.

Gross-Matos fell into the Panthers’ laps at No. 38 overall and they even contemplated moving back into the first round to select the edge rusher. Questions about his potential have been quashed during his glimpses of promise and there is a good chance he can form a prolific trio of pass-rushers coming off the edge with Reddick and stud defensive end Brian Burns moving forward.