• Matt Oehl

The Future: 2021 NFL Draft Prospects Kwity Paye

Kwity Paye took a massive jump in the 2020 season. He was able to develop from 2019 to 2020 and due to his very good athleticism, he has a very high ceiling that could lead to him becoming an elite presence on the edge in the NFL. He now is considered as a 1st round prospect will the potential of going in the top 10. I have Kwity Paye and Gregory Rousseau as my top 2 edge rushers in this class. Kwity differs from Rousseau in the sense that he is a technically sound speed rusher who uses a variety of moves to beat blockers and get to the quarterback. He was able to go on stretches this year where he took over games and took over as a one-man wrecking crew. Below I will discuss his upfield burst, his ability to rush the passer, how he plays vs. the run, how well he uses his hands, and his pursuit.

Upfield Burst- Paye has very good athleticism that allows him to get upfield quickly. His timing off the snap of the ball can improve but he is quick to get off the ground and use his athleticism to get upfield. He is explosive and sudden with his movements while also having the quickness to completely avoid blockers as a whole.

Pass Rush- He is best used as an outside speed rusher who can win with both inside and outside moves. He uses a variety of moves including swim, chop, rip, push-pull, and spin to get to the quarterback. He has the strength to push lineman backward and convert speed to power when on the edge. He has shown that he can be moved all over the line and win with speed on the inside as well. His best film was against Minnesota where he was able to win consistently from both the inside and outside with multiple moves. He does a very good job when tasked with stunts or twists and can not only create pass-rushing lanes for himself but also for his teammates.

Vs. Rush- He is very good against the run. His gap discipline is very good and when shooting gaps he does a good job of using his hands to shed blocks and get to the ball carrier. His lateral quickness allows him to shoot gaps aggressively and beat blockers to his spot. When taking on double teams he does a good job of holding his ground with very good play strength. When taking 1 on 1 blocks he pushes his blocker back while keeping contain and getting to the runner. His superior athleticism allows him to win to tight spaces. When taking on pulling linemen and lead blockers he meets them aggressively in the hole while maintaining gap integrity and leverage.

Use of Hands- Paye has violent, powerful hands that allow him to set the tone for the full 60 minutes. When pass rushing he does a good job of hitting his targets and using his hands to keep blockers from getting into his pads. He uses multiple moves that require him to be very precise with his hands and it allows him to speed rush both around the edge and when lined up on the inside. Against the run, when he is lined up on the inside he has the length to keep guards and centers off of him but when lined up on the edge there is still room for improvement with his hand usage. He will allow lengthy tackles to get into his pads and control him.

Pursuit- Paye doesn't have an off button. He has a very high motor where he doesn't take plays off and he doesn't give up on plays. When teams run away from him they cannot leave Paye unblocked on the backside due to his ability to move laterally down the line of scrimmage and make a play on the ball. When in pursuit of the quarterback he will give up 2nd and 3rd efforts to get the sack or defend the run.

If you want to see the best of Paye, watch his 4th quarter against Minnesota where he is dominant in both the pass rush and against the run. He recorded multiple sacks and tackles for loss in one quarter and it shows just how good he can potentially be.

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