3 Carolina Panthers players that must unlock their potential in 2023

Terrace Marshall Jr.
Terrace Marshall Jr. / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Yetur Gross-Matos - Carolina Panthers OLB

Considering where Yetur Gross-Matos is right now heading into the final year of his rookie deal, it's far from what the Carolina Panthers had in mind. The edge rusher came into the league with a glowing reputation and enormous promise, but there's been nothing to suggest the former Penn State stud was worth the No. 38 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Gross-Matos got a big-time opportunity last season as a starting defensive end opposite Brian Burns. But it didn't take long to figure out these expectations were never going to be met.

There was a lack of explosiveness, pass-rushing moves, and confidence levels almost from start to finish. Gross-Matos' ability to set the edge against the run became a bright spot, but there is much more required to become a productive NFL starter on the defensive line.

This led many to believe it would be the end of Gross-Matos' time earning prominent reps. However, that might not be the case based on how things have unfolded this offseason.

Carolina hasn't done much to bolster their edge options. Gross-Matos has reportedly made impressive strides in his transition to a 3-4 outside linebacker, which is a surprise not many around the fanbase saw coming immediately after the 2022 campaign concluded.

If Gross-Matos does get one more shot, the need to increase production cannot be understated. Otherwise, the Panthers will move on swiftly once his contract expires next spring.