Jaylen Twyman Sure Sounds Like a Safe Bet to Make the Vikings Roster

Jaylen Twyman Sure Sounds Like a Safe Bet to Make the Vikings Roster
Jaylen Twyman

Among oodles of Minnesota Vikings storylines to follow in 2022, Jaylen Twyman’s comeback especially stands out.

Twyman was shot four times last summer and is now battling for a spot on the Vikings 53-man roster, which will be announced on August 30th.

And all signs are pointing up for the Pittsburgh alumnus, as Minnesota’s coaching staff was impressed with Twyman’s preseason performance versus the Las Vegas Raiders last weekend. New defensive coordinator Ed Donatell spoke positively about the defensive lineman when asked about Twyman’s play against Las Vegas, “I thought really well when you think about a guy going two years without playing football.”

Donatell also graded Twyman, “You have to give this guy an A-plus.”

Oct 26, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers defensive lineman Jaylen Twyman. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Twyman wasn’t perceived as a “lock” to make the Vikings final roster when training camp started. Ten interior defensive linemen live on the current depth chart, and between five and seven will make the team:

  • Jonathan Bullard
  • James Lynch
  • TY McGill
  • Esezi Otomewo
  • Harrison Phillips
  • T.J. Smith
  • Jullian Taylor
  • Dalvin Tomlinson
  • Armon Watts

Based on Donatell’s “A-plus” assessment, Twyman should be in good shape to get the nod for September football. Incumbent defensive lineman Armon Watts is likely the starter in Twyman’s spot, but Twyman could reasonably scale the depth chart for a backup job.

Dec 26, 2019; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers defensive lineman Jaylen Twyman. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports.

According to Twyman’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, the comeback is the stuff of legends. Rosenhaus told the Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson last week, “I’ve been an agent for 35 years, and this is one of the greatest comebacks I’ve ever seen.”

After his 2019 season at the University of Pittsburgh, Twyman was on a fast track to getting selected early in an NFL draft. He logged 10.5 sacks in 13 games as an interior lineman during his sophomore campaign. Then, Twyman opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID, and his draft stock never fully recovered. Former Vikings bossman Rick Spielman found Twyman in the 6th Round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

None of the draft stuff matters, though, if Twyman levitates up the depth chart in Year 2 or 3. And per August musings from the Vikings coaches, he’s in a promising spot to make the 53-man roster.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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