Ranking the Panthers’ top-5 DT options in the 2021 NFL Draft
Jaylen Twyman – Pittsburgh
Although Jaylen Twyman opted out of the 2020 college football season, he provided more than enough evidence that he could be a game wrecker in 2019. In 13 games he recorded 12.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks – looking like the next great Pittsburgh lineman following in the footsteps of Aaron Donald.
Twyman is smaller for a defensive tackle, listed at 6-foot-2 and 301 pounds. But he has an incredible amount of strength for his size.
He put up 40 reps on the bench press at his pro day. Twyman is reminiscent of Donald – another “undersized” defensive tackle from Pitt – and I think being undersized worked out pretty well for the current best defensive player in the league.
Twyman uses his hands nicely to complement his strength while shedding blocks in the middle, something he#’s been working hard on with Donald over the last year.
The prospect still needs to improve in the run game, but it isn’t a huge flaw. Twyman still has a good hunch for predicting running gaps, although the main knock on him is that he’s too small to hold blocks and fill gaps.
This shouldn’t be a big problem at the next level. Twyman makes up for his lack of prototypical size with his strength. He is a projected third to fourth-round pick, and the Carolina Panthers have to consider taking him at number 73 overall.