2021 NFL Draft: Michigan edge Kwity Paye scouting report

The Miami Dolphins select Kwity Paye in the first round of this 2021 NFL mock draft (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
The Miami Dolphins select Kwity Paye in the first round of this 2021 NFL mock draft (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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2021 NFL Draft, Kwity Paye
Sean Clifford #14 of the Penn State Nittany Lions avoids the tackle of Kwity Paye #19 of the Michigan Wolverines. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The 2021 NFL Draft class has not been defined by an abundance of generational defensive talent. Specifically, it’ll be a tough year to find elite defensive line help in the first round.

Unlike 2019, which saw an extraordinary 13 defensive linemen get drafted in the first round, this year projects to have a mere four defensive linemen go in the first round.

So how valuable is the edge rusher position? Well, the last two drafts saw the second-overall picks used on potentially generational defensive ends.  Go back and look at previous years’ drafts: You’ll see plenty of edge defenders finding homes in the top 10.

Outside of the quarterback position, elite edge defenders are the most sought-after position in the first round. Even rebuilding teams seem to have an implicit understanding that elite edge defenders are one of the key pillars of a competent defense.

This year’s top edge defender is Michigan’s Kwity Paye, a 6-foot-4, 272-pound senior who, depending on who you ask, is either the next generational pass-rusher to come to the NFL or a one-dimensional developmental player.

Seeing the field in 38-games during his enrollment at Michigan, Paye certainly has the experience to warrant a deeper look. It’s possible that Paye could end up as the first defensive lineman off the board in this class.

In this scouting report, we’ll go discuss the top edge defender prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft. We’ll explore Paye’s background and the personal struggles he overcame to make it to Michigan and now the NFL.

We’ll review his film, examine the things Paye does well and how those skills will translate to the NFL. We’ll also catalog the things Paye needs to work on in the NFL. Finally, we’ll explore three draft destinations that Paye would thrive in and explain why he’ll be an upgrade for the franchise’s defensive line.