DT Jaylen Twyman, Pittsburgh* (6’2”, 290)

Background:

Redshirted, then rotated into the defense the following year before stepping into a starting role and posting an impressive 41-12.0-10.5 line in what turned out to be his final season, deciding to forego the 2020 season and declare for the draft.

Positives:

Was very productive in his one year as a starter. Plays on both sides of the line as a three-technique defensive tackle. Appears to have pretty good length for his size. Fires out with some explosiveness and begins snaps with a low pad level. Overall functional strength is good, especially for his size. Despite his lack of ideal size and bulk, is a capable two-gapper who can lock out opposing linemen and anchor at the line of scrimmage. Does a good job of keeping his shoulders square when defending the run. Able to scrape down the line without getting pushed off of it. Shows a good motor and can be a handful on passing downs because of his overall effort alone, drawing additional attention from opposing lines. Flashes the ability to generate push with his bull rush and uses it as the basis of his pass-rush approach.

Negatives:

Overall size is on the low end and may limit his positional versatility. Pad level rises too early. Anchors at the line well for his size but misses out on chances to make stops by failing to disengage in time. Has a lot of sack production but rush approach isn’t the most technically advanced. Needs to work counters into his game more frequently to limit the amount of snaps where he’s idling around the line of scrimmage; approach is too reliant on bull-rushes and can get stuck when that doesn’t work.

Summary:

A physical under tackle who fires out with explosiveness and has impressive functional strength for his size, something which allows him to two-gap pretty effectively in the run game and collapse the pocket a little bit as a pass-rusher. Will need to diversify his rushing approach and shed blocks more quickly at the next level, but looks like he could develop into a surprisingly stout under tackle or possibly even nose tackle for a team with an even front. May not appeal as much to teams running odd fronts because of his lack of ideal size for a five-technique end.

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