Games Evaluated: 2019 Vs: Michigan, Purdue 2018 Vs: Ohio State, Maryland
Report By: JD Bagley
Q.A.B. / C.O.D. 7.20
Playing Speed 7.10
Athletic DE with good speed, but doesn't really show up on tape unless he's in open field. Not a very shifty pass rusher, relies more on his power which will be tough to replicate versus NFL offensive linemen unless he adds more bulk. Bend just isn't where it needs to be for an athlete of his caliber. High pad level at times causes him to lose battles that he can win. Get off is nothing special, but his explosiveness in the open field while tracking down ball carriers is solid. When he has a clean path to the QB his burst is above average. Rarely ends up on the ground. Holds a solid base and doesn't get bullied off the line very often.
PASS RUSH ABILITY: 6.76
Initial Quickness 6.20
Use of Hands 6.40
Pass Rush Moves 7.00
Finish Ability 7.70
Lacks an elite/explosive first step for the type of athlete he is. At times, has a solid get off when stuniting inside to create leverage for himself. Hand placement is inconsistent but shows flashes of good usage. Struggles at times to disengage from blocks when blocker lands first blow. Quick inside stunt helps him gain leverage on his path to QB. Outside pass rush could use some work because his ability to bend is just average. Needs to develop more of a plan when rushing the passer. Has a few moves that work but could use a couple more to round out his game and be successful at the NFL level. When he gets his hands on the ball carrier there's almost no chance of escape. Has big mits and wraps up very well in the backfield.
Definitely a tough player. No noteworthy injuries. Plays with a high motor at all times. Plays with an edge that is visible nearly every play. 17.5 sacks over the last 2 seasons in the Big 10 is solid. Total tackles numbers are slightly down from 2018 but not a big concern as his tackling technique is above average.
AGAINST THE RUN: 7.00
Play with Leverage 6.10
Stack and Shed 6.20
Gap Shooting Ability 7.60
Run at Him 6.80
Run Away 7.50
Although his length and power are two of his great traits, can get washed down at times in run defense when contain isn't his main priority. Shows flashes of quality block shedding but it's tough for him to disengage when blocker gets ahold of him. His inside stunt has improved immensely from 2018 to 2019. Feels like his quickest get off is on an inside move when tackles aren't expecting it. Usually sets a solid edge of contain to turn playback inside. At times he can over pursue and create a cut back lane for the ball carrier. Has a high motor and chases down runners with great effort. Has good visibility most of the time to find the right path to the ball carrier, but will take a bad pursuit angle from time to time. Very good tackler, especially in the backfield. Breaks down exceptionally well and wraps up just the way your taught.
High motor player and does almost everything at 100%. An unfinished product who has time to polish his overall football IQ. Gross-Matos improved from 2018 to 2019 showing that he's coachable and can apply more to his game. Still has room to improve his pass rush moves but it's nice to know his ceiling has yet to be reached. Good team player. Didn't see any flashes of him bringing down teammates or giving minimal effort. Solid locker room kinda guy.
High motor player, gives strong effort pursuing ball carriers. Big frame, long. Shows ability to break down and wrap up to make 1 on 1 tackles in the backfield. Inside stunt improved greatly from 2018 to 2019.
First step rushing off the edge is usually too wide, creating a longer path to the QB. Tackle often beats him to point of attack. Not a super strong player for his size, but has time to fill out. Rarely shows a counter move to being stood up. Once he's blocked he usually stays blocked, hand usage is average. Haven't seen the bend you'd like to see with the athletic ability he has. Never really has a plan when rushing the passer.
Gross-Matos projects as a base 4-3 end in today's NFL. He's a raw player with the tools to succeed at the next level if he lands in the right scheme/coaching fit. His length and motor are the two traits that separate him from other edge defenders in this class. An instant impact in year 1 for an NFL defense may be a little far fetched, but with a year or two of NFL coaching, Gross-Matos has a chance to be a solid mid tier starter at the next level.