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Potential Second-Round Landing Spots For Yetur Gross-Matos

Well that didn’t go as planned.

Yetur Gross-Matos was expected by many to be picked towards the tail end of the first round of the NFL Draft, but the star defensive end never heard his name called on Thursday night. There were several teams reported to be interested in the Nittany Lion, including the Vikings and the Seahawks, but both teams decided to stay away from any defensive linemen in the first round.

For now, all Gross-Matos can do is move on to Friday night’s second round and see if a team decides to give him a shot. Considering CBS Sports had him ranked as the third-best edge rusher in this year’s draft (behind just Ohio State’s Chase Young and LSU’s K’Lavon Chaisson) it’d be surprising to see him fall much further.

With that in mind, we organized a few of the possible landing spots for Gross-Matos in Friday night’s second round.

No. 34 overall to the Indianapolis Colts

The Colts didn’t have a pick in Thursday night’s action, and I’m sure they’d be happy to get things started with a talented edge rusher like Gross-Matos.

Justin Houston had a big first season in Indianapolis last year at defensive end, but the Nittany Lion would be a strong addition to the other side of the line. In fact, the Colts could really use some strengthening of their defensive front seven, and that’s exactly what Gross-Matos would do for them.

The Colts likely didn’t expect such a talented defensive end to be available on day two of the draft, so why not accept the gift and spend their first pick of the 2020 draft on a surefire athlete such as Gross-Matos?

No. 36 overall to the New York Giants

An edge rusher and an offensive tackle were two key positions that the Giants needed to improve entering this draft. The Big Blue took care of that second issue on Thursday night by drafting Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas with the fourth overall pick, but the team is still in need of a talented defensive end.

Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams are both solid defensive lineman for New York, but neither of them possess pure speed like Gross-Matos’.

The Giants finished 22nd in the NFL in total sacks last season, and they could certainly increase that statistic by grabbing the Nittany Lion later than expected. Gross-Matos’ speed off the edge would be a welcomed sight for a New York squad that has had its defensive struggles over the past few seasons.

Oh by the way, Gross-Matos would get to reunite with former teammates Saquon Barkley and Grant Haley, and play for his old defensive-line coach Sean Spencer in the Big Apple.

No. 39 overall to the Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins were one of the favorites to grab Gross-Matos in several mock drafts, but they elected to use their three first round picks on quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, offensive tackle Austin Jackson, and cornerback Noah Igbinoghene.

Miami covered a ton of key team needs with those picks, but it still needs an edge rusher. Considering he was likened to be a first-round quality defensive prospect, I’d be shocked if the Dolphins aren’t jumping for joy if Gross-Matos is still available for them to draft on Friday night.

No. 40 overall to the Houston Texans

I’d be extremely surprised if Gross-Matos continues to fall on Friday night, but if he’s around for the Texans, they should absolutely scoop him up.

Obviously Houston has JJ Watt at defensive end, but it could still build up some depth at that position, and Gross-Matos offers that in spades. A young, athletic, and strong edge rusher would be a perfect fit for a Houston team that tied for sixth-fewest sacks in the NFL in 2019.

Let alone from the fact that former Penn State football head coach Bill O’Brien would get to join forces with a fellow Nittany Lion, Gross-Matos is a pick that makes sense for the Texans overall. If he manages to hang around this long on Friday night, don’t be surprised if Houston opens its 2020 draft with him.

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, Peaky Blinders, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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