Mock Draft Monday: Seahawks go defense early
Round 1: Seahawks select Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE Penn State
The 2020 NFL Draft has a lot of talent in many different positions. However, this edge rusher class isn’t one of the highlights. There is a lot of talent at the top, but the cliff comes hard and fast. Yetur Gross-Matos is the last edge player on many boards before the cliff comes, so snagging him at pick 27 would be a steal.
But there is a reason that even in a light edge class, Gross-Matos could fall late into the first round. Gross-Matos has the boom or bust tag slapped on him as he flashes for extended stretches, but also has a lot of work to do to become a consistent pass-rusher.
Gross-Matos will check all the boxes in terms of size, speed, and athleticism. At 6’5″, 270 lbs, Gross-Matos has a devastating first step off the line and can burn by slower tackles with ease. Gross-Matos also has a high motor who never stops until the play is over, even if he is beaten early in the play.
His primary strength comes in the stunt and twist game and has steadily improved his hand positioning and bull rush over the past two years. But he still needs to develop a stronger and more accurate punch as too many times NFL tackles will be able to get their hands inside the frame of Gross-Matos.
He is a solid run defender but will need to improve there to be an every-down lineman. In layman’s terms, he is more Cliff Avril than he is Michael Bennett. Gross-Matos would be an excellent complement to Jadaveon Clowney (if he is re-signed) but shouldn’t be expected to play every snap from Week 1 in the NFL.
Thankfully, Clint Hurtt is an excellent Defensive Line Coach and handing him a talented lump of clay who just needs to be refined could unlock Gross-Matos into the double-digit sack man he can be going forward.