3 Carolina Panthers starters that could be replaced in 2023
By Dean Jones
Yetur Gross-Matos – Carolina Panthers DE
Derrick Brown has thrived in his third season with the Carolina Panthers. However, the same cannot be said of fellow 2021 NFL Draft pick, Yetur Gross-Matos.
The defensive end was given starting duties this season after the Carolina Panthers decided to let Haason Reddick take his chances elsewhere. This came after some encouraging signs on the rotation, although injuries hindered the former Penn State standout from generating any real momentum over his opening two campaigns.
Still, there was cautious optimism about what Gross-Matos could do with increased responsibilities. His run defense is coming on encouragingly, but there are grave concerns when it comes to generating pressure consistently and this has held him back in the biggest possible way.
Considering how well Brown and Brian Burns are performing and the extra attention opposing protection schemes give the defensive line duo, it makes Gross-Matos’ lack of pass-rushing prowess all the more disappointing.
What this means for Gross-Matos and his future in Carolina remains to be seen. It’s unlikely the Panthers will give him a free ride into the starting job in 2023 – which is the final year of his rookie deal – so his aspirations are entirely dependent on what additions those in power make through free agency or the draft.
Either way, Gross-Matos has been one of the team’s biggest disappointments given expectations before competitive action began.