DE Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn St.*

6’5” – 264 lbs.

Appeared in all thirteen games as a true freshman, posting 17-2.0-1.5. Took over a starting role the following season and went 54-20.0-8.0. Followed that up with a 40-15.0-9.5 line as a junior before declaring for the draft. Has added over fifteen pounds of bulk since his first season and possesses prototypical size for an edge rusher. Typically plays out of a four-point stance as the team’s right defensive end, but also takes some snaps from the left end of the line. A very good technician whose best trait is his hand use; does an excellent job of setting up opponents and using his hands to slip by and create disruption. When defending the run, keeps his head up, gets his arms extended, sets up wide, and uses his hands to shed blocks very effectively and make tackles on the ballcarrier; timing and tackling radius allow him to discard blockers and make tackles close to the line of scrimmage. Anchor looks good overall but did get overwhelmed on some snaps when he was playing closer to the middle of the line. When left open as the read man, closes quickly but can get too aggressive and end up being sucked in, creating opportunities for opponents to break containment; frequency with which he mixes in inside moves can also cause him to get sealed out of the play on tosses/sweeps. Was a productive pass-rusher over the past two years. Doesn’t rely on wide techniques to win; takes plenty of snaps lined up to the inside of opposing offensive tackles. Has solid reactions to the ball being snapped, and demonstrates some ability to dip his shoulder and bend around the edge, but overall approach to rushing the passer is mostly predicated upon getting depth with his initial rush to challenge the edge and force opposing tackles outside, then taking advantage of opportunities to use his hands to redirect back inside for clear lanes to the passer. Also does a very good job of attacking the inside directly, firing out low and slipping into gaps to blow up rushing attempts or force quarterbacks to flee the pocket. Appears to have adequate power but doesn’t rely too heavily on his bull-rush. Was asked to rush from the inside on occasion but is predominantly an outside pass-rusher. Looks likely to go in the first round as a well-built, well-rounded defensive end who has some of the best hand use in the class; not quite an elite athlete, but made a big impact on a snap-to-snap basis and looks like a safe pick for a team looking to get more disruptiveness from its edge defenders.

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