4 Carolina Panthers players trending towards draft bust status in 2023

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) C.J. Henderson
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) C.J. Henderson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Yetur Gross-Matos /

Yetur Gross-Matos – Carolina Panthers DE

  • No. 39 overall selection (2020)

When the Carolina Panthers opted to let Haason Reddick walk in free agency, Yetur Gross-Matos was presented with a huge opportunity to showcase what he could bring from a starting role. The defensive lineman showed flashes on the rotation over his first two seasons, so hopes were high surrounding his prospects working alongside Brian Burns on the edge.

Gross-Matos has the physical tools needed to be a difference-maker. But injuries hindered his early progress and the former Penn State standout failed to make the necessary impact during a hugely disappointing campaign.

The No. 39 overall selection in 2020 mustered just 2.5 sacks throughout the season. There was almost no consistent pass-rush opposite Burns because of this and it’s something the Panthers must rectify as one of their top priorities this offseason.

This casts further doubt on Gross-Matos’ long-term aspirations in Carolina heading into the final year of his deal. While there’s a chance he can thrive under Ejiro Evero, this is probably going to be from a rotational role rather than prominent starting reps.

Gross-Matos didn’t capitalize on his shot and Reddick thrived with the Philadelphia Eagles. This makes allowing him to leave among the biggest mistakes of the Matt Rhule era.