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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: IDL Jaylen Twyman

  • The Draft Network
  • December 24, 2020
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Pittsburgh defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman emerged as a redshirt sophomore in 2019, collecting 41 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and 10.5 sacks. While the production stands out, he still had plenty to prove on the field but opted out of the 2020 college football season so our last exposure to Twyman is his 2019 game tape. Twyman found success as a pass rusher by utilizing a push-pull and swim move, but he needs to add more to his repertoire to have success as a pass rusher in the NFL. Twyman is a quick athlete with good mobility but he lacks size and his frame is underdeveloped. It doesn’t appear he has ideal anatomical length, and when combined with his lean frame and inconsistent leverage, there are challenges both as a run defender and pass rusher. Twyman has appeal as an interior gap-shooter, but there is a notable developmental curve ahead of him to reach his ceiling in the NFL. He must develop his frame, get stronger, and expand his hand technique. 

Ideal Role: Interior pass rusher.

Scheme Fit: 4-3 three-technique. 


Written by Joe Marino 

Games watched: Miami (2019), North Carolina (2019), Virginia Tech (2019), Ohio (2019), Virginia (2019), Syracuse (2019). 

Best Game Studied: North Carolina (2019)

Worst Game Studied: Virginia (2019) 

First-Step Explosiveness: Twyman has a sufficient first step when releasing out of his stance, but it’s not overly dynamic. He could do a better job of angling his first step to create more consistent half-man relationships and not play so many pass rush reps body to body with his blocker. I did not see issues with false steps out of his stance and his release is clean. 

Flexibility: Twyman illustrates good flexibility and the ability to reduce and get skinny through gaps. He can bring his hips around the hip of his blocker if he’s able to soften the course. Twyman appears to be plenty loose and agile. 

Hand Counters: Twyman’s go-to moves—a push-pull and swim move—can become stale and he needs to expand his repertoire. His ability to string together moves and counter is underdeveloped at this point. Twyman competes to clear contact, but he needs more technical refinement to become more consistent.  

Hand Power: Twyman has ordinary pop in his hands. This shows up when he looks to execute his swim and rip moves where the violence and power in the club to set up the rip or swim doesn’t make enough of an impact. His swipes and efforts to clear his pads often come up empty and blockers are able to set the clamps on him. 

Run Defending: As things currently are, Twyman lacks the mass and power at the point of attack to be a consistent run defender. He isn’t quick to process blocks and he’s often reached and sealed. Twyman does have positive moments shooting gaps, but anchoring against NFL drive blocks will be a challenge.  

Effort: Twyman plays with consistent effort, relentlessly working to clear blocks and he’s urgent in pursuit. It’s apparent that he’s highly driven given a challenging upbringing and desire to make a positive change for his family. There are no concerns here. 

Football IQ: Twyman is underdeveloped for the role he projects to at the next level in terms of hand usage, power, and processing. Too many of his reps are played absent of leverage and extension, which invites blockers into his frame. He must improve his understanding of how blocks are trying to attack him and what the correct responses are. 

Lateral Mobility: Twyman has the lateral mobility expected for an undersized interior defensive lineman. He has no restrictions flowing down the line of scrimmage and working toward the sideline. 

Core/Functional Strength: Twyman has plenty of room to get stronger and add functional strength which will be vital given his lean frame. His frame appears to be underdeveloped with plenty of room to add bulk and positive mass. Twyman doesn’t have a sufficient anchor right now to anchor against NFL blockers. 

Versatility: Twyman doesn’t offer much in the way of versatility. He’s a pass-rushing interior defensive lineman who does not project favorably to defending the run in the NFL. He doesn’t have the length, size, or athletic profile to play on the edge or defend multiple gaps.  

Prospect Comparison: Mike Patterson (2005 NFL Draft, Philadelphia Eagles) 


TDN Consensus: 70.63/100

Joe Marino: 71.00/100

Kyle Crabbs: 70.50/100

Jordan Reid: 71.00/100

Drae Harris: 70.00/100

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