The 2020 NFL Draft is almost here. As we approach the closest thing sports fans have to a live sporting event during this COVID-19 pandemic, sportsbooks continue to create ample markets for bettors.
William Hill Sportsbook has set the over/under on the overall draft position for defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos at 26.5, juiced slightly to the over (-120).
Since 2010, a total of 72 defensive linemen have been selected in the first round of the NFL draft. The most recent defensive lineman to be taken No. 1 overall was Myles Garrett, who the Browns selected with the first pick of the 2017 draft. Jadeveon Clowney, chosen by the Houston Texans back in 2014, is the only other player besides Garrett at the position to be selected with the first overall pick during that span.
Last year’s draft produced the most when a total of 10 defensive linemen were taken in the opening round. The oddsmakers project that we will see half as many taken in the first round this year. After Ohio State defensive end Chase Young, Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown is a near-consensus among all respected mock drafts to be the second defensive lineman taken in the top part of the first round.
Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State
In his sophomore and junior seasons, the explosive defensive end posted 34.5 tackles for loss and 17 sacks. He compiled 40 total tackles and nine sacks in 2019 for a Penn State team that went 11-2 and won the 2019 Cotton Bowl. Both seasons were good enough to earn him First-Team All-Big Ten honors. The 6-foot-5, 266-pound edge rusher would be the first Nittany Lion to be selected in the first round since Saquon Barkley went No. 2 overall in 2018.
Prior to Gross-Matos' rise to stardom at Penn State, his life was filled with two unimaginable family tragedies involving the deaths of his father and brother. He is another player football fans will be rooting hard for at the next level no matter where your allegiance lies.
The naturally gifted edge rusher has been in regular contact with NFL teams via video conferences leading up to the draft. The potential of Gross-Matos, who has persevered through incomprehensible adversity, into developing into a dominant defensive end at the next level is considerable.
William Hill currently lists Gross-Matos’ draft position at 26.5, which just sneaks him into the back end of the first round. I have him coming off the board to Seattle at No. 27 in my mock draft. The Seahawks could lose Clowney to free agency and many experts believe the talented Nittany Lion could help fill that void. Other teams rumored to be interested in Gross-Matos are the Texans, Patriots, Cowboys, Falcons and Vikings. This number is way too close for my liking, making it a pass for me in favor of other more attractive markets.
The Play: Pass
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