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Panthers make defense a priority with Day 2 picks

The Carolina Panthers are investing in the men who will meet the opponent first.

One day after selecting Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown with the seventh overall pick, the Panthers doubled down up front, choosing Penn State defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos with the 38th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft on Friday.

Gross-Matos proved with his statistics that he can rush the passer and do so well, but he might need some time to mature to an NFL level of power and strength. No worries, though: The 22-year-old Gross-Matos should still be a quality starter and could become a legitimate impact player as he gets older, combining his excellent athleticism with a veteran's strength.

With Brown inside and Gross-Matos on the edge, the Panthers are displaying a commitment to winning up front. We'll see if it produces an effective duo in Charlotte.

The Panthers followed their two selections of defensive linemen by adding a defensive back at the end of the second round.

Carolina chose Southern Illinois defensive back Jeremy Chinn after trading with the Seahawks for the 64th overall pick.

A defender who thrives on his instincts, the 6-foot-3 Chinn was a safety in college but could be depended upon as a sub-package cover man thanks to his size that makes it possible to take on bigger targets. His ball skills make him an interesting prospect who could blossom in the NFL after playing his college ball at the Football Championship Subdivision level.

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