5 Carolina Panthers players with the most to prove in Preseason Week 1

These Carolina Panthers players have big points to prove in Preseason Week 1 against the New York Jets.
Matt Corral
Matt Corral / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 5

Yetur Gross-Matos - Carolina Panthers OLB

After an up-and-down 2022 season, fans are looking at Yetur Gross-Matos to take the next step to become a valuable asset on defense.

The former Penn State player has had a disappointing start to his NFL career. After getting into the starting rotation last season, he produced only 2.5 sacks and 10 quarterback hits. Both are considerably low for a player drafted early in the second round during the 2020 selection process.

Most likely, his roster spot is safe. But Gross-Matos already looks to be moved down the lineup, and he is in danger of falling out of the rotation entirely if he does not showcase something in the preseason. Especially when one considers the recent additions to the edge rusher position.

The Carolina Panthers front office understood that the edge rusher position was thin after Brian Burns. That is why they made the Justin Houston signing and traded up for D.J. Johnson in the third round.

If Gross-Matos wants to get on the field in key moments this season, he will need to show signs of improvement from the previous campaign. His first opportunity is against the New York Jets.