As expected, defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos is the first Nittany Lion off the board in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Carolina Panthers selected Yetur with the 38th pick of the second round.
The Spotsylvania, Va. native began playing immediately as a true freshman, and broke out into one of the Big Ten’s top defensive lineman as a sophomore in 2018 when he finished with eight sacks and 20 TFLs. He increased his sack total as a junior with 9.5 sacks, despite the increased attention coming from opposing offensive coordinators.
Gross-Matos had been projected as a late first round draft pick by most outlets leading up to the draft. He declared following his junior season, forgoing his last year of eligibility when it became clear he would be a high pick in this year’s draft.
While there are no former Nittany Lion players currently on the Panthers’ roster, Yetur will be coached up by former PSU letterman and turnaround king Matt Rhule. Additionally, former PSU grad assistant and recent LSU pass game coordinator Joe Brady will be calling the shots in Charlotte as the Panthers’ offensive coordinator.