4 secret weapons on the Minnesota Vikings in 2022

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Camryn Bynum
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Camryn Bynum /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) Jaylen Twyman /

Jaylen Twyman – DL

After ending Jaylen Twyman’s dramatic slide during the 2021 NFL Draft, misfortune struck the defensive tackle in a big way when gunshot wounds forced him to miss his entire rookie season. This was a bitter blow to the former Pittsburgh standout, who’s been working hard on rehabilitation in pursuit of making an instant impression next time around.

Switching to a 3-4 base defense could indicate Twyman has a prominent role to play, providing everything goes well in training camp. The lineman has experience operating on the edge or on the interior, with his potential to wreak havoc in opposing backfields evident throughout his prolific stint in college with the Panthers.

Just what being away from the game for so long has done for Twyman is unclear. It’ll probably take time to pick things up after having his early development abruptly halted, so the challenge awaiting the second-year-pro in the coming weeks cannot be understated.

If Twyman hits the ground running and leaves a notable mark on his coaches, then a spot on the defensive line rotation is well within his capabilities. He’ll also be a surprise that most teams won’t see coming.

Twyman has the physical attributes to become a force, but there are far too many unknowns right now to say for sure. Watching his progress closely in camp will tell us plenty about what to expect when the real action begins.