Since just before the start of the 2020 college football season, Kwity Paye has been touted as the best edge rusher in the class. While that may be debatable, Kwity has some undeniably attractive characteristics to his game. Paye is an inside outside versatile rusher who is a flat out disruptor in the defensive trenches. He is a former running back and plays a very physical game because of it, while being smart enough to snuff out lanes and gaps in the offensive line. Kwity Paye may not be the most polished pass rusher in the class but he can set a rock solid edge and has the athletic characteristics to light up the scoreboard in the NFL.
Position: 4-3 DE
Weight: 272 lbs
2019 Stats: 12 games played/ 26 SOLO/50 TOTAL/ 12.5 TFL/ 6.5 Sacks
2020 Stats: 4 games played/ 12 SOLO/ 16 TOTAL/ 4 TFL/ 2 Sacks
1.Kwity Paye is definitely the most athletic edge rusher in the class and will shock people with his measurable come Michigan’s Pro Day. He is expected to run in the 4.5s at his forty and honestly high 4.4s wouldn’t shock many either. Kwity is a walking block of muscle and uses his athleticism to dip under tackles and blast past tackle’s outside hips. He also has an ultra explosive first stop off the line. Once in the league, he will immediately be one of the most athletic edge rushers in the NFL.
2.Because of his muscular frame, Paye is an incredibly powerful player. He has heavy hands and sink his hips in to his bull rushes to drive back tackles twice his size. His power to speed rush is a deadly and NFL ready. Once he learns more about hand counters, and deceptive footwork, he will have one of the most expansive and effective pass rush arsenals in the whole NFL.
3. Paye is one of the better leverage rushers in the NFL. He knows how to use the tackle’s weaknesses in their stances and uses it to catch them off balance regularly. Paye has a solid base when he rushes and is rarely caught off balance himself. His knowledge of attacking leverage issues in offensive lineman will serve as a good pass for Paye while he expands his pass rush arsenal.
1.Kwity Paye needs some work with his pass rush moves. His technique looks sloppy and he doesn’t always have a pass rush plan. This can be attributed to being new at the position but regardless, Paye would benefit from a talented veteran opposite him and an experienced coaching staff.
2.Also because he is knew to the position, he has a low football IQ. Paye will need to learn a little more about reading plays and tackle movement early in the play. Again, something that can be fixed with proper coaching, but definitely a hurdle that needs to be overcome at the next level.
Football is a game of quarterbacks. The three most important positions are the passer, the pass protector, and the pass rusher. Because of positional value and high upside, Paye will be a first round pick. He has insane athletic ability at that size and great power in his frame. He will need to work on the finesse part of his game and learn more about pre and post snap reads. His upside is 12+ sacks a season and a consistent force on the defensive line. He will need to be in a 4-3 scheme with his hand in the dirt, and has bust potential in the NFL, but should the investment of a first round pick “Paye” off, that team just got a monster in the trenches.
Draft Projection: First Round
Pro Comparison: Carlos Dunlap/Frank Clark