Draft Buzz: Catching up with Pittsburgh defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman
The draft buzz on Pitt defensive lineman Jaylen Twyman has been consistent from the beginning. He is a big man with incredible athletic ability and is a headache for quarterbacks. He has tools that defensive coordinators covet and has been a wrecking ball throughout his college career. Over the weekend, I had the chance to sit down with the rising star and pick his brain about who he is outside of football? I also asked what is his take on the Pittsburg defense and what it has been like dealing with the recent draft buzz? Before we get to his interview, I spoke with my scouting source and asked him about his take on Jaylen Twyman?
“What do you have to say about Twyman that hasn’t already been discussed? I mean he is the best defensive lineman coming out this year. That’s my opinion of him. Now, how others feel I am not sure, but I have to say this kid is the real deal. I mean he has the potential to be a star at the next level. Big, strong, quick off the ball. Can help in the run game as well as rush the passer. You know I believe he will be a guy that teams have to plan against. He needs some work. I think he does, but right now, he is someone that you want to bring in. That defense at Pitt is ferocious. They’re stacked with talent across the line. From head to toe really. I mean that! I think all of those guys could be difference-makers. Twyman may be the best of the bunch. What I like about him is he doesn’t act like it. He doesn’t speak down to people, and he leads. He is a guy that you want in the locker room. Can you tell I am excited about this kid? If you are an NFL fan and your team has a chance to land him, you should be excited too.”
When watching Twyman on film, it is easy to fall in love with his potential. You walk away feeling like you just watched a legit playmaker on the defensive front. His ability to dominate offensives linemen and wreak havoc on an opponent is apparent from snap one. But what stood out to me the most was his humble approach.
“Honestly, as far as who I am outside of football, it’s simple. I’m a family man, that is pretty low-key. I am not looking to cause problems. I like to work out and try to perfect my craft really. I know it sounds boring, but I am a football player man. I love the game and I want to be the best version of myself I can be. I want my teammates to know that I am working my tail off for them. That I am a guy that they can relate to and come to as a player and a man. I feel like you have to have that ability to be a good teammate. You have to show the other guys that you are going to work for them. So you know outside of football is a simple man. I am a hard worker, and it is family first for me. My friends and my people mean the world to me.”
Moving forward he spoke about his former team and the defense he once led?
“You know you have to be a dog. You have to be a guy that is willing to do it all. At Pitt, we play hard. Until its zeroes on the clock. At Pitt coach always preach hard work. Doing things all the way through and do it the right way. I feel like everyone takes that approach that if you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready. That is why we eat. Those guys on that defense eat. I love what we have in our defense. Well, I love the whole team. I love my guys across the board, all of them because we battle“.
Twyman has been a hot name amongst NFL scouts and media alike. Watch the film, and you can see what the rest of us do. He is a talented young man that can blow up offenses. Jaylen can rush the passer consistently as well as help in the run game. I asked Twyman what it has been like dealing with the recent hype?
“To be completely honest with you, Jon, I do not care about all that. I appreciate you guys and all the fans. I do appreciate all the love I have gotten as a player. But I do not care about it right now. I’m more worried about being better. I am trying to get better at everything I do as a player. I feel like I could still work on everything, from rushing the passer to stopping the run. So while it has all been nice and all. I need to keep my mind on what I do now. I can only focus on what I can control. That is my actions. That is the work I put in. You always hear that when you’re not working someone else is out there outworking you. I do not want to be outworked. I can take winning and losing, but if I’m not prepared, that is on me. I am getting ready for the Draft. That is just another step towards what I love. If God sees fit to see me play in the NFL, that would be a dream come true. But I have to do my part. You can’t do that if you were comfortable and relaxed. Just happy with what they saying about you. I appreciate it man, but I have to keep my grind.”
It would not be a surprise to see the 6-2 290 lb. prospect jump up team boards the closer it gets to the NFL draft. The tools he brings to the game of football are obvious, but it is his personality, and a humble approach to life, that will make him a great man. At the end of the day, I believe that is all that matters.