6 Panthers players who need to impress when the pads go on at camp

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Yetur Gross-Matos
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Yetur Gross-Matos /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Marquis Haynes and Yetur Gross-Matos /

Yetur Gross-Matos – Carolina Panthers DE

One of the players expected to make a significant leap from rookie to sophomore is Yetur Gross-Matos. The defensive end showed his quality at times in 2020 but thanks to injuries, a concussion, and even a spell on the COVID-19 list, it turned out to be a relatively frustrating campaign for the former second-round pick.

That’s all part of the learning curve. What comes next is more important for Gross-Matos and will be the strongest indicator yet as to what the Carolina Panthers can realistically expect from the edge rusher both next season and beyond.

There is a lot to like about the physical attributes Gross-Matos brings to the table. His production at Penn State was sensational and if this eventually transitions to the next level, Carolina will have a serious player on their hands.

Gross-Matos might be utilized as a situational pass-rusher next season, depending on how he shows out during camp. The Panthers brought in some substantial reinforcements to their front seven this offseason and this puts some more pressure on the second-year-pro to carve a role out for himself all over again.

Nothing he’s not capable of. But a strong showing when the pads go on is vital.