5 Minnesota Vikings newcomers who could surprise in 2021

(Photo by Joe Rondone/The Tallahassee Democrat via IMAGN images) Janarius Robinson
(Photo by Joe Rondone/The Tallahassee Democrat via IMAGN images) Janarius Robinson /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) Jaylen Twyman /

Jaylen Twyman – DT

It hasn’t been the easiest of starts to life in the NFL for Jaylen Twyman. The defensive tackle suffered multiple gunshot wounds that he’s expected to make a full recovery from, but just how much activity – if any – he’ll be ready for at training camp remains to be seen.

One thing is for sure, Twyman’s talent cannot be disputed. The Vikings got themselves a real steal at No. 199 overall with the former Pittsburgh standout, who generated an unbelievable amount of disruption when last on the field in 2019.

Opting out of the previous campaign due to COVID-19 concerns hurt Twyman’s draft stock considerably. There is nothing to suggest he wouldn’t have been a second-round selection had he played.

Minnesota will obviously monitor Twyman’s recuperation closely. Bringing the rookie on slowly is perhaps more important than ever after recent events, and although Michael Pierce will miss a portion of camp through injury, the Vikings have Sheldon Richardson to step in if it becomes something more serious.

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Expecting miracles from Twyman straight away might be asking too much. However, if the player recovers as expected and transitions gradually, there could be a big role in the rotation for the lineman over the second half of the campaign.