Jaylen Twyman looks like a safe bet to make the Vikings roster

Jaylen Twyman

Of the countless Minnesota Vikings storylines to watch in 2022, the return of Jaylen Twyman particularly stands out.

Twyman was shot four times last summer and is now fighting for a spot on the Vikings’ 53-man roster, to be announced Aug. 30.

And all signs point to the Pittsburgh alum, as the Minnesota coaching staff was impressed with Twyman’s preseason performance against the Las Vegas Raiders last weekend. New defensive coordinator Ed Donatell spoke positively about the defensive lineman when asked about Twyman’s game against Las Vegas“I thought really well when you think of a guy who goes two years without playing football.”

Donatell also noted Twyman, “You gotta give this guy an A-plus.”

October 26, 2019; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers defensive lineman Jaylen Twyman. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire – USA TODAY Sports

Twyman was not seen as a “lock” to make the Vikings’ final roster at the start of training camp. Ten inside defensive linemen live on the current depth chart, and between five and seven will make the squad:

  • Jonathan Bullard
  • James Lynch
  • TY McGill
  • Esezi Otomewo
  • Harrison Phillips
  • T.J. Smith
  • Julian Taylor
  • Dalvin Tomlinson
  • Armon Watts

Based on Donatell’s ‘A-plus’ rating, Twyman should be in good shape to get the go-ahead for September football. Starting defensive lineman Armon Watts is likely the starter in place of Twyman, but Twyman could reasonably adjust the depth chart for backup work.

December 26, 2019; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers defensive lineman Jaylen Twyman. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports.

According to Twyman’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, the return is legend. Rosenhaus say it Pioneer press Chris Tomasse last week, “I’ve been an agent for 35 years, and this is one of the greatest comebacks I’ve ever seen.”

After his 2019 season at the University of Pittsburgh, Twyman was on track to be selected early in an NFL Draft. He recorded 10.5 sacks in 13 games as an inside lineman in his second campaign. Then Twyman pulled out of the 2020 season due to COVID, and his draft stock never fully recovered. The former Vikings boss found Twyman in the 6th 2021 NFL Draft round.

However, none of the elements of the project matter, whether Twyman is levitating in the second-year or third-year depth chart. And according to August thoughts from Vikings coaches, he’s in a promising position to make the 53-man roster.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube channel, VikesNow. He host a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, airing every Wednesday with Raun Saw and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Guilty pleasures listed: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, “The Sopranos” and The Doors (the band).

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