3 Carolina Panthers players set for reduced roles in 2023

Ian Thomas
Ian Thomas / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Yetur Gross-Matos - Carolina Panthers OLB

This one might not be so clear-cut. But Yetur Gross-Matos should consider himself highly fortunate to still be in contention for prominent reps after his production during the 2022 campaign.

Gross-Matos got a well-deserved promotion into a starting role last season and failed to meet expectations. The former second-round pick just didn't look comfortable operating as a three-down defensive end, although he deserves praise for improving against the run despite offering almost nothing from a pass-rushing perspective.

While many expected the Panthers to address their edge rushing depth as a matter of urgency, only third-round selection D.J. Johnson was acquired. This gives Gross-Matos and others a reprieve of sorts under Ejiro Evero and a much-improved coaching staff.

There's been some praise leveled at Gross-Matos this offseason for his transition to a 3-4 outside linebacker. Marquis Haynes Sr. is also catching the eye, so it'll be interesting to see how this particular dynamic shakes out at training camp.

The No. 38 overall selection in 2020 played 73 percent of Carolina's snaps on defense last season. Unless there is a drastic turnaround, Gross-Matos is unlikely to get close to this figure when competitive action resumes.

This bears more significance if the Panthers bolster their pass-rushing options. Something that would be disastrous to Gross-Matos heading into the final year of his rookie deal.