The Detroit Lions have a big need for a dependable pass rusher to play opposite from star edge defender Trey Flowers. Lack of a defensive line that is able to pressure the opposing quarterback has hurt the team multiple times over the last two seasons. The secondary can only cover their assignments for so long, and if the defensive line is letting the quarterback have over five seconds to throw the ball then it’s going to be difficult to have a good passing defense.
With Flowers and fellow defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand on hand, the Lions have one above-average edge rusher and one solid versatile rusher (Hand). However, adding Penn State defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos would give Detroit three lineman they could throw on the field together at any certain time and have a good chance to either pressure or sack the quarterback.
Gross-Matos would be a great addition to the Lions defense as he can be an asset against both the run and the pass. The Draft Network‘s Joe Marino mentions that Gross-Matos can set the edge very well thanks to his size and strength. Blockers will find it difficult to unanchor him and create extra space for their backs.
As a pass rusher, Gross-Matos uses his mixture of athleticism and power to displace blockers and blow up plays in the backfield, ending them before they even began. He was able to accrue over eight sacks each of the seasons he started at PSU, made at least 40 tackles a year from his defensive end position and even forced a couple of fumbles. The Lions would do well to add this disruptive force off the edge in the second round should he fall this far.