College: Penn State University
Weight: 264 lbs.
Overview: Yetur Gross-Matos is a lengthy edge prospect with a powerful upper body and athleticism that oozes the potential to become a top-tier pass rusher. His pass-rush plan and counters are still pretty raw, but with refinement, he could become a double-digit sack pass rusher. He has one of the highest ceilings out of the edge prospects in the 2020 draft.
Yetur Gross-Matos has some powerful hands. He is often able to redirect opposing linemen out of his pass-rushing path.
His most effective pass rush move is the inside club/hump move. When the offensive tackle exposes their inside shoulder towards the sideline, Gross-Matos loves to attack that shoulder and further rotate the tackle outside. This move gives him an alley back inside towards the quarterback.
Here is an example against Michigan State. In this first picture, the offensive tackle’s shoulders are still relatively parallel to the line of scrimmage, as indicated by the red line. This positioning allows the tackle to prevent any inside move.
However once the tackle exposes his inside shoulder to set for the outside rush, he becomes vulnerable to the inside.
As a result, Gross-Matos powerfully strikes the inside shoulder to further rotate the tackle outside, giving him a free path inside to the quarterback.
Here is the full play:
Yetur Gross-Matos has a huge wingspan. This length allows him to keep his torso clean from opposing linemen while he is rushing the passer and also gives him a larger tackling radius against the run.
In this play against Memphis, Yetur shows off his length while rushing the passer. In this first picture, he easily disengages from the lineman. The opposing lineman is unable to reach Yetur’s body to block him due to his incredible length.
Once he is in the backfield, Yetur again uses his length to reach out and sack the quarterback (Yes, I know this is technically a horse collar.)
At 264 lbs, Yetur moves very well. His straight-line speed and burst off the line of scrimmage are solid. His hips looked fluid for his size as he changes directions. These traits made him a competent run defender.
Against the run, he was often able to penetrate the backfield. Once in the backfield, he has excellent awareness and reactivity to identify and take down the ball carrier.
Yetur is great at making tackles in space. He stays square with the ball carrier and rarely lets them out of his grasp once he has them. He has the athleticism to run sideline to sideline.
In this next clip, watch how Yetur catches up to Anthony McFarland from the weak side. For reference, McFarland ran a 4.34 40 yard dash.
Pass Rush Plan:
Gross-Matos only has one consistent counter move. He has a fundamental inside club move. While this move is effective, that can’t be his only counter move. As a result, Yetur struggles to rush the passer with a plan at times. In the NFL, he will need to refine his pass rush moves because right now, he is winning more with his athletic abilities rather than his skills. This will be the determining factor on whether Yetur Gross-Matos can be a good or great pass rusher.
He must provide a more consistent effort given by Yetur on a rep-to-rep basis. His motor and energy seem to waver a lot during the game. At times, I see him hustling and playing hard, and at other times it will look like he is taking plays off. It wasn’t a massive issue at Penn State, but it’s still significant enough to notice.
After the regular college season ended, a lawsuit came out from a former Penn State player, accusing a couple of Penn State football players of sexually assaulting him and “hazing” him. I won’t go into too much detail of what happened, but Gross-Matos’s name was mentioned in this report. To this point, no substantial evidence has been found to convict Yetur and the other players, but it is something to look at and take a cautious approach with this prospect. I’m sure any team that will want to draft him will take care of these concerns in the interview process.
Comparison: Jason Pierre-Paul
Draft Grade (Value): mid-to-late-1st
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