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Colts Select Defensive End Kwity Paye With 21st Pick In NFL Draft

The Colts added to their pass rush in using the 21st overall pick on Michigan's Kwity Paye. 

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The Colts bolstered their defensive line Thursday night, selecting Michigan defensive end Kwity Paye with the 21st overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. 

Paye totaled 11 1/2 sacks, 23 1/2 tackles for a loss and 97 total tackles for Michigan between 2017-2020. The 6-foot-3, 261 pound Paye was a team captain in 2020 who NFL.com's Lance Zierlein wrote is renowned for having a "great work ethic and determined effort."

Paye had one of the most impressive athletic testing profiles among edge rushers in the 2021 NFL Draft, highlighted by a 4.57-second 40-yard dash, a 35 1/2-inch virtual jump, an 118-inch broad jump and 36 bench press reps. And Paye opted out of 3-cone drill testing — in which he previously posted a 6.37-second time, which for reference was significantly quicker than any edge rusher has ever recorded at the NFL Combine. 

Yahoo Sports' draft analyst Eric Edholm wrote of Paye

"Gives max effort every snap, it seems. High-motor player who seldom gives up on plays. Possess great late-rush potential — doesn't stall when initial move is stymied. Racks up backside pursuit plays. Wears down opposing tackles with his drive and energy. Forces opponents to bring their best."

Paye will slot into a group of defensive ends including Ben Banogu, Tyquan Lewis, Al-Quadin Muhammed, Isaac Rochell and Kemoko Turay.

Paye was born in Guinea after his mother fled Liberia during that country's first civil war. The Paye family — his brother, Komotay Koffie, was born in Sierra Leone — eventually emigrated to Rhode Island, where Paye picked up football and began to excel at it. Rivals.com rated him as a three-star recruit in the class of 2017, and Paye had other offers from Boston College, Navy, Rutgers, Syracuse and Toledo. 

Following the Paye selection, the Colts still have these remaining picks:

  • Second round, 54th overall
  • Fourth round, 127th overall
  • Fifth round, 165th overall
  • Sixth round, 206th overall
  • Seventh round, 248th overall

Paye is the Colts' first first-round pick since Quenton Nelson (No. 6 overall) in 2018.

Stay dialed in to Colts.com for plenty more about the newest member of the Colts, and what may be next as the 2021 NFL Draft rolls on Friday and Saturday.

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