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Assessing Yetur Gross-Matos’ Way-Too-Early Draft Stock

Yetur Gross-Matos has seemed like a sure-fire pick in next spring’s NFL draft for several months. Respected analysts like Mel Kiper Jr. and Matt Miller have predicted that his name will be called anywhere from sixth overall to the latter half of the first round.

Now more than halfway through the regular season, it’s safe to say that although he hasn’t exactly matched his projected top-ten billing, the junior has more-or-less performed on-par with the lofty preseason ranking Kiper gave him as a potential top-ten pick. 

Gross-Matos has 26 total tackles this season, including 9.5 tackles-for-loss, with 5.5 of them being sacks. This comes after a breakout sophomore campaign in which he obliterated offensive lines for a whopping 20 tackles for loss.

The statistics don’t tell the full story. Gross-Matos is listed at 6’5”, 265 pounds, and has a supposed 4.52 40-yard dash time. For context, this reported time would be faster than those of wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins, Michael Thomas, and Davante Adams. On-field production will only go so far in the draft process, and Gross-Matos has the physical gifts to succeed at the next level in addition to his impressive statistics. 

Combine this with the need for sack artists in the pass-heavy NFL, and Gross-Matos should continue to rise throughout the draft process.

Ryan Wilson’s latest mock draft on CBS Sports predicts that Gross-Matos will be drafted No. 22 overall by the Miami Dolphins.

Aside from raising the possibility of the exciting Penn State combination of Mike Gesicki and Gross-Matos in Miami, Wilson pegged Gross-Matos as the No. 4 “edge” rusher in the draft. This should make him a lock for a first-round spot in the upcoming draft.

Wilson’s two predictions were published more than three months apart from each other, which shows Gross-Matos production hasn’t faulted him so far this season. Most other analysts seem to concur that Gross-Matos will be chosen somewhere within the top thirty-two picks of next spring’s draft.

Moving forward, Gross-Matos will be judged more heavily. The Nittany Lions are now 8-0 and ranked No. 5 nationally. He’s faltered a bit as of late, and down the stretch, the spotlight will be on Gross-Matos and the Wild Dogs’ ability to generate pressure on the quarterback. A string of solid showings will bolster his case to be the first defensive player drafted from Penn State in the first round since Jared Odrick in 2010.

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About the Author

Jared Raggi

Jared is a freshman majoring in undecided because he doesn't know what he wants to do for the rest of his life at 18. He is from Roxbury, NJ and is an avid fan of the Yankees and Steelers. If you like mindless, witty content, feel free to follow him on Twitter @jraggi29.

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