Kwity Paye Draft Profile
Every year there are a handful of guys with a ton of talent, but don’t have the stats to back it up. Quite a few pass rushers fall into that category this year and Kwity Paye is one of them. The Michigan pass rusher, showed that he was very skilled but only had two sacks in four games. Between Brandon Graham, Rashan Gary, Chase Winovich, and now Paye, Michigan is quietly a pass rusher power house. In a “weak pass rusher class”, Paye will most likely go day one and be a guy who plays all over the defensive line.
I know you don’t draft players because of their heart, but Paye runs all over the field. I love hustle players and Paye is relentless; he never gives up on a rush. When learning about Paye, the first thing I heard about was his legendary three cone drill. Apparently his ability to change directions and his short area quickness is real next level stuff. Based on his tape, I can confirm that he is all twitched up and extremely quick. While Paye may not be a guy who gets 10+ sacks every year, he’s a really good presence to have against the run and he puts a lot of pressure on the quarterback. Paye has really good bend despite being a bigger player and he can play all over the defensive line. He’s best on the outside, but a team can scoot him to the inside if need-be. When lining up pre-snap, Paye mostly starts in a four-point stance (both hands in the dirt), but I actually thought he was better coming out of a two point stance (receiver stance). At times, Paye showed that he has an elite get off, but wasn’t always getting off the ball consistently. Paye is a high effort player that coaches will fall in love with.
On tape, Paye consistently got overpowered and flushed out by offensive lineman. While Paye is extremely twitchy, his strength isn’t where it needs to be in order to win on bull rushes and convert speed to power. There is a difference between quick and fast, Paye is quick and won’t always win on speed rushes. His lack of speed and strength makes him a somewhat strange pass rusher. He does a good job with his hands and has a good rip move. Paye may struggle early on in his rookie year due to lineman that are stronger and faster than him, but once he finds his niche I expect him to be a good pass rusher.
I do think Paye is a good player, but I’m not sure I’d use a round one pick on him. I have an early second round grade on Paye, he reminds me a lot of Everson Griffen and Brandon Graham. Those guys usually won’t pad up the stat sheet but they’ll be impact players. I know the Patriots just signed Matt Judon and already have Winovich, but Paye would slide into that rotation perfectly. If the Cowboys choose to trade down, Paye would be a nice addition and the Colts need to put more pressure on the quarterback. I don’t expect Paye to be a year-in-year-out pro bowler, but I think he will be a really good defensive starter.
Run Defender 5.75/7
Pass Rush Moves 4/6
Get Off/Motor 4.5/5
Final Rating: 80
Pro Comparison: More Athletic Everson Griffen
Team Fits: Patriots, Cowboys, Colts
Draft Ranking: Early Second Round Pick
Draft Projection: Late First Round Pick