Yetur Gross-Matos - Carolina Panthers OLB
Filling in the spot opposite a talent such as Brian Burns is never an easy task. However, fans and the Carolina Panthers expected much more out of Yetur Gross-Matos than they received last season.
Two and a half. That was the sack production Gross-Matos managed in 2022, blowing his big starting chance in no uncertain terms.
To be fair, expectations were fairly high for a player that had only recorded three and a half sacks the year before. But if the Panthers weren't confident, they wouldn't have let Hasson Reddick walk in free agency.
Stats are never the whole story and the eye test can sometimes prove statistics wrong. This, however, is not one of those cases.
Not only did Gross-Matos consistently get pushed off his line by opposing tackles, get snuffed out by interior linemen, or simply misjudge the direction of the rush, he was a liability in the run game at the best of times.
I lost track of how many times there were gaping holes for running backs and quarterbacks alike to frolic through to big gains, or the edge not be adequately sealed against the NFL's more mobile signal callers. These are weaknesses that opposing teams exploited repeatedly.
Burns can only do so much.
Unless something truly unexpected happens this season, it is looking more and more likely that Gross-Matos will be relegated to backup duty at best. Especially with all signs pointing toward Marquis Haynes Sr. taking over the starting edge role in Ejiro Evero's 3-4 base system.