Vikings add a stud defensive lineman in sixth round of 2021 NFL Draft

(Photo by Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) Jaylen Twyman
(Photo by Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) Jaylen Twyman /

With their final pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings added former Pittsburgh defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman.

It was hard to find a mock draft in which the Minnesota Vikings did not land former Pittsburgh defensive lineman Jaylen Twyman. He was a stud in college before opting out of the 2020 season and posting poor testing numbers at his Pro Day earlier this year.

The Vikings were smart in letting Twyman slide into their lap in the sixth round, something that most probably thought wasn’t even possible.

I had him projected somewhere near the end of round three or the top of round four because his tape is just so delicious. He is an incredible force in the middle of the defense with a lot of upside as an interior pass rusher.

Minnesota Vikings land underrated defensive lineman with final pick in 2021 NFL Draft

The 6-foot-2, 290-pound wrecker in the middle was one of my favorite players to watch in the summer of 2020. If he played his final season at Pitt, there is a strong chance Twyman would have ended up in the top 50 of this year’s draft. Luckily for Minnesota, things did not pan out that way.

Twyman was an All-ACC first-team selection in 2019 after tearing up the competition from start to finish. He tallied 10.5 sacks and 12 tackles for loss during the campaign, and he entered himself into the mix of potential first-round picks in the future.

While the rest of his college career was thrown away, the early film on Twyman is exciting. The Vikings spent big money to bring in Dalvin Tomlinson and Michael Pierce in free agency to handle the middle of that defensive line. But Twyman can still be an impact player in his first season as a rotational pass rusher.

Minnesota has done a really nice job of drafting and developing defensive linemen, especially on the edge. While Twyman is more of an interior role player, his impact will be felt at some point in the near future.

This was almost a no-brainer selection given the rest of the Vikings’ draft. They did not need to add another linebacker or wide receiver after doing their job in the earlier stages of the draft. Now, Twyman will get to sit and learn behind one of the scariest interior duos in the league. What a great situation for the young defensive lineman and Minnesota.