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NFL Draft

NFL Defensive Rookies Of Week 4: Powered By Panini

  • The Draft Network
  • October 6, 2020
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Life in the NFL is hard, as rookies everywhere are finding out after their first taste of action. While in your typical year rookies have the preseason to be phased into the realm of professional football, the rookie class of 2020 has to endure a baptism by fire. We're playing for keeps right out of the gate.

Which rookie performers were able to make the most of the pro action in Week 3? We, along with our partners at Panini, are recognizing the best of the best each week. Here are the Defensive Rookies of the Week from each conference for Week 4 of the 2020 NFL season.


LB Kenneth Murray, Los Angeles Chargers

The Los Angeles Chargers made a big splash in April with their decision to trade up and secure linebacker Kenneth Murray with a top-25 selection. And while "positional value" is something to debate regarding their decision, there's something to be said for going to get your guys and affirm your belief in what role a player can serve on your team. For Murray, Week 4 looked to be a step in the right direction. In all, the former Oklahoma Sooner totaled 10 tackles against Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

And while Brady's team hung 38 points on the Chargers, Murray himself played a pretty darn good game. He was effective as a finisher in tackling scenarios and in coverage he was targeted five times but yielded less than 25 yards on those five targets. In all, a strong overall performance from the Chargers, a team that is enjoying standout performances from rookies on both sides of the ball through the first quarter of the 2020 NFL season.


DE Yetur Gross-Matos, Carolina Panthers  

Welcome to the NFL, Yetur! Gross-Matos logged his first career NFL sack in Week 4 against the Arizona Cardinals, a winning effort from a young defense that is filled with weekly candidates to claim this recognition. Jeremy Chinn, Derrick Brown, Troy Pride Jr., and Gross-Matos are all collecting prominent playing time for Matt Rhule's Panthers and for the second consecutive week Carolina has a player in this spot. Gross-Matos' first career sack came with a win off the edge against the Cardinals, he sliced into the pocket after showing some of that same linear burst he showcased as a member of the Penn State Nittany Lions.

With second-year defender Brian Burns across from him on the line, Gross-Matos' rush opportunities figure to continue to be one-on-one opportunities—and if he's able to strike successfully at the rate he did against Arizona, you have to figure his snap count will be on the rise sooner rather than later. In all, Gross-Matos logged a sack, a forced fumble, and one additional pressure on just over 20 snaps against the Cardinals.

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