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5 Things to Know About New Vikings DT Jaylen Twyman

The Vikings used their only pick of the 2021 NFL Draft after the fifth round to tab defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman out of Pittsburgh in the sixth (199th overall).

It seems that the overall selection can't be named without a mention of Tom Brady, whom the Patriots found at the spot back in 2000 when Twyman was less than a year old.

Instead of chasing all of Brady's records, Twyman will turn his focus toward pressuring passers.

Here are five things to know about Twyman:

1. REAL-ly amazing reaction

It can be quite emotional when players get the call from an NFL team that's drafted them.

A dream that has been followed by sweat and sacrifice is being realized.

Twyman's emotions overwhelmed him when Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman asked if he was ready to be a Minnesota Viking.

This video — most will concur Twyman steals the show at 2:08 — by the Vikings Entertainment Network captures those incredible moments of this year's class.

That kind of heart is a heck of a place to start as coaches work with Twyman's transition to the next level.

2. He's strong

To say that Twyman was pumped up to join the Vikings would be an understatement. His selection followed a showing of strength during Pittsburgh's Pro Day when he repped 225 pounds in the bench press 40 times.

3. 'Stat-splosion'

Twyman opted out of the 2020 college football season because of COVID-19 concerns, but his work in 2019 as a redshirt sophomore didn't go unnoticed.

He delivered a statistical explosion, or "stat-splosion" for the Panthers, boosting his tackles total from 16 to 41, tackles for loss from 1.5 to 12 and his sacks tally from 0.5 to 10.5 after becoming a starter.

Twyman became the first interior defensive lineman to lead Pittsburgh in sacks in a season since Aaron Donald recorded 11 in 2013 and ranked 18th nationally with an average of 0.81 sacks per game.

The year led him to garner Second-Team All-America status from The Associated Press and a First-Team All-ACC designation.

View photos of Pittsburgh DT Jaylen Twyman who was selected in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

4. He's got good role models

Twyman has looked up to Donald, who earned six All-Pro First-Team selections before turning 30, since the understudy was just 14.

"Being as Aaron Donald is my favorite player, being able to even have my name in talks with his was definitely a blessing," Twyman said. "I was just trying to be competitive and be the best that I can be. It was definitely a blessing to be able to do that."

Twyman also is excited to be joining a Vikings squad that features his former Panthers teammates Brian O'Neill, a 2018 second-round pick, and Patrick Jones II, who was selected in the third round this year.

Twyman was a redshirt during the 2017 season when O'Neill was wrapping up his college career, but the impact of O'Neill's influence lasted.

"When I was on scout team and Brian was about to enter the draft, him getting me ready for those down blocks and showing me how to be a leader on the team has definitely molded me," Twyman said. "He and some other great players on the team definitely molded me to be a great teammate and stuff like that.

Twyman said it is "definitely a blessing" to team with Jones again.

"It's something that I was hoping and praying for when I was getting interviewed by the Vikings and I knew we were two potential prospects. I've just been keeping my fingers crossed [that I'd be] able to reunite with one of my brothers, whether that was Rashad Weaver or Patrick Jones," Twyman said. "It's a blessing to be able to chase quarterbacks down again with Patrick."

5. D.C. distinction

Twyman holds the distinction of being the only player from Washington, D.C., proper in this year's draft.

According to 2020 U.S. Census Data, America's national capital has a population of 689,545. Twyman's selection placed Washington, D.C., at fifth in terms of players selected per capita. Louisiana's 13 selections out of a population of 4.6 million led the way with one selection per 358,289 people.

Twyman made the most of his time at H.D. Woodson High School, helping the Warriors win D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association titles in his final three seasons.