Since arriving at Pitt, defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman has been compared, both physically and in his preparation, to former Pitt great Aaron Donald.
A year from now, Twyman will hear his name called in the 2021 NFL Draft but the question is how high will he hear his name called? If a national website is correct, Twyman will earn another comparison that will draw more comparisons to Donald.
The 2021 NFL Mock Drafts are starting to be released and SBnation.com projects Twyman getting selected in the 1st round by the current Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. The last Pitt Panther to get drafted in the 1st Round of the NFL was Donald by the St. Louis Rams in 2014. Prior to that, it was former Pitt wide receiver Jon Baldwin by Kansas City in 2011.
Twyman was one of the leaders of Pitt’s 2019 nationally ranked defense collecting 12 tackles for losses and 10.5 sacks, which was half a sack shy of Donald’s single-season Pitt record. Because of this breakout season, Twyman was named a second-team All-American by numerous publications including the Associated Press, Sporting News and the Football Writers Association of America.
While some believed he would declare for the 2020 NFL Draft, Twyman announced immediately after Pitt’s Quick Lane Bowl win over Eastern Michigan that he would return for his junior season. With much of the defense returning, Twyman has a good chance to put up similar if not better personal statistics than he did last season.
The question then becomes will that he good enough to earn him status as a first round pick?