As Penn State moves into the 2019 season they are going from relying on a potent offense lead by an experience quarterback to relying on their defense to carry the load till the offense gets things going. A big part of that is defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos who is coming off a breakout sophomore season that saw him accumulate 20 tackles for loss and 8 sacks. Now entering his junior season Yetur Gross-Matos is looking to build off those numbers as his NFL Draft stock is starting to raise.
Vs the Run
Against the run Yetur Gross-Matos is a scrappy fighter who may get pushed around at times but will always be going 100% and come off blocks to go attack the ball. Gross-Matos is at his best when he’s aggressive up the field looking to penetrate and disrupt the plays. Using burst and quick hands he’s able to get past tackles and guards and that’s a big reason he had 20 tackles for loss in 2018. Another thing that helps Gross-Matos is his motor as he is always going hot chasing the ball down which leads to him racking up tackles all the way across the field.
Vs the Pass
With his burst, lateral agility and quick hands you would think that would lend to Gross-Matos a tough block. Instead he’s not the most imaginative pass rusher often going hard at the edge and if he doesn’t win it he’s pushed past the pocket or stonewalled. Now he did finish with 8 sacks on the season which is no number to bat your eyes at, but most of those were due to him winning with athletic ability only. As he progresses through his junior season I’m anxious to see how he develops as a pass rusher and whether he can learn a go to more or two that can help him as he translates to the NFL.
While Yetur Gross-Matos has had success playing the Nittany Lions 4 four man front he’s often asked to shade the tackle on both sides. Gross-Matos would be much better suited playing more consistently outside of the tackle and in a bit more space to fully utilize his athletic ability. Thus being drafted to a 3-4 based team as an outside linebacker might be his best option. From there he has the ability to become a quality starter.