The Jacksonville Jaguars once again find themselves on the clock. New head coach Urban Meyer has his quarterback of the future in Trevor Lawrence, and now he looks to address the defensive side of the football. Trading away star pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue was a move aimed at the long term and it’s time they address it. Meyer goes with a familar face from the Big Ten, an immediate impact player.
Enter Michigan’s Kwity Paye.
Three things pop out to me when it comes to Kwity Paye: athleticism, recent experience, and game-changing ability. Paye isn’t just a physical presence on the field (6-foot-4, 261 lbs), he’s proven to be a rare mix of strength and athleticism. At Michigan’s pro day, he clocked in an impressive 4.54 40-yard dash along with a staggering 38 bench reps. It only gets more impressive when you look at his accolades on the field. In the past two seasons, Paye averaged just over a tackle for loss per game, as well as 7.5 sacks. Playing in a run-heavy conference like the Big Ten, Paye proved time and again that he can be a constant disrupter.
Simply put, Kwity Paye is a freak of nature type of player.
To sum it up, Paye is raw. He doesn’t have any refined pass-rushing moves, he only started in 19 games at Michigan, and he has a tendency to explode into the backfield on running downs. He depends on his athleticism and strength a bit too much for an elite pass rusher. It’s a curse just as much as it’s a blessing. Once he builds some patience and commits himself to working on elite pass-rushing moves, he can be the steal of the draft.
Paye is a very high upside project, but teams unfortunately don’t like drafting projects in the first round.
If I’m being honest, Kwity Paye is my favorite edge rusher in this draft. Getting the chance to watch him grow into the player he is today, his potential really is limitless. Unfortunately, he only had four games to prove it last season. Had he played a full senior campaign, I truly believe he would be a top-ten pick. He wrecks havoc every time he’s on the field and his stats don’t do him justice.
Placing Paye on the opposite side of a talented pass rusher will be dangerous to the health of quarterbacks.