DFF Draft Coverage: Kwity Paye to the Colts

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Kwitty Paye | Michigan                  6’2½ ” 261 lbs.                11/19/1998 (Age 22)

Kwity Paye was drafted 21st overall by the Indianapolis Colts, becoming the 7th defensive player drafted in the 2021 NFL Draft.

College Production

Year Games Played   Tackles   TFLs   Sacks   PDs  
2017 (FR) 2 4 1.5 1.0 0
2018 (SO) 10 27 5.5 2.0 1
2019 (JR) 12 50 12.5 6.5 0
2020 (SR)   4 16 4.0 2.0 0

Kwity Paye is yet another member of the former Michigan Wolverines that never lived up to hype and expectations. While his testing numbers and raw athleticism stand out, his production on film leaves a lot to be desired. Paye was the Rhode Island Gatorade Player of the Year in 2016 starring on both offense and defense. Paye fought for reps his first two seasons at Michigan. However, Paye took a huge step forward as a junior, earning second-team All-Big Ten accolades with 50 tackles, 12 for loss, with 6.5 sacks in 12 games. Paye was named a team captain for the 2020 season and earned honorable mention all-conference honors after starting four games (16 tackles, four for loss, with two sacks). He did miss two contests due to injury.

Paye’s freakish athletic traits and potential should not be discounted, as his NFL coaches will provide him the technique and fundamentals that Michigan could not. Unfortunately, he’s a short-armed, short-strider who does not play with instincts or the awareness needed to be a playmaker. He might be best-suited as a situational rusher that bumps down inside on passing downs, where his quickness can overwhelm guards. Your author’s concern is that he is just the next Rashan Gary, and may take a few seasons to develop, should he ever.

Athletic Testing

Kwity Paye delivered jaw-dropping performances at his Michigan Pro Day. He clocked a 4.52 40-yard dash, jumped 35.5” in the vertical, and repped out 36 bench press reps. He was well-prepared and earned an A+ across the board. The athleticism we have all observed on tape was put fully on display. However, while many analysts have Paye ranked as their top edge defender, your author has him as the #4 edge defender. Still, with numbers like these, defensive coordinators will be excited to get to work with Paye. 

Draft Analysis

Rapid Reaction to Draft Capital: Great

Rapid Reaction to Landing Spot: Excellent

Kwity Paye was selected with the 21st pick by the Indianapolis Colts. With the depth the Colts possess up front, it is an outstanding landing spot for Paye, as it will allow him to play limited snaps and learn and develop alongside other top-tier defensive linemen. When he does get into the game, with veterans DeForest Buckner and Justin Houston (reports suggesting he re-ups with the Colts) commanding attention, Paye should get one-on-one opportunities.

Fantasy Insights

Paye’s hands and lateral movement are among the fastest you will find in the NFL. His landing spot on the Colts defensive line is outstanding in the fact that it offers opportunity, as well as established veterans to take the pressure off of him. The best news of all is that Paye is going to a team that employs a base 4-3 defense, rendering him a DE for IDP fantasy. Had he been tagged an LB in a 3-4 scheme, then your author would not be drafting him.

In the end, Paye should be valued in the 2nd tier of IDP players in rookie drafts. He belongs above all of the DBs, but behind players like Micah Parsons, Jaelen Phillips, Jamin Davis, and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. Consequently, Paye should be drafted in the mid-third to mid-fourth round of IDP rookie drafts.

Thank you for checking out DFF’s 2021 NFL Draft Coverage! Stay tuned as we break down every fantasy-relevant pick during the draft. Please consider our yearly DFF subscription, so we can continue to deliver top-notch analysis and fantasy breakdowns. 

I appreciate your time! If you enjoyed this piece, you can find more of my work and countless other quality reads and content offered here at Dynasty Football Factory. Also, you can interact with me on Twitter at @DocFFFN.


Founder of Fantasy Football Fright Night | #FFFN | @FFFrightNight| PhD | Staff Writer; Copy Editor @DFF_Dynasty| #IDP | #Devy | #DynastyFootball | #DFFArmy

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