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Kwity Paye Drafted by Colts: Indianapolis' Updated Depth Chart After Round 1

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorApril 30, 2021

Michigan defensive lineman Kwity Paye (19) is seen during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, in Ann Arbor, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

Kwity Paye became the seventh defensive player taken off the 2021 NFL draft board after the Indianapolis Colts picked him with the 21st overall selection on Thursday.

The defensive end had 6.5 sacks and 50 tackles (12.5 for a loss) in 12 games during his final full season for Michigan in 2019. He only played four games during the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season, amassing 16 tackles and two sacks. He was injured during one of the games (against Indiana on Nov. 7) and missed an additional two games as well before returning for a Nov. 28 matchup with Penn State.

Here's a look at how he fits on the Colts' depth chart following the move.

LDE: Tyquan Lewis, Kemoko Turay, Al-Quadin Muhammad

DT: DeForest Buckner, Robert Windsor, Chris Williams

DT: Grover Stewart, Andrew Brown, Taylor Stallworth

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RDE: Kwity Paye*, Isaac Rochell, Ben Banogu, Kameron Cline 

OLB:  Bobby Okereke, Zaire Franklin, E.J. Speed

MLB: Zaire Franklin, Matthew Adams

OLB: Darius Leonard, Jordan Glasgow, Skai Moore

CB: Rock Ya-Sin, Anthony Chesley, Will Sunderland

CB: Xavier Rhodes, Andre Chachere, Nick Nelson

FS: George Odum, Ibraheim Campbell, Sean Davis

SS: Julian Blackmon, Khari Willis, Roderic Teamer Jr. 

Depth chart info provided by Ourlads and Over the Cap.

   

The 6'4", 272-pounder from Providence, Rhode Island ranked 28th overall on the B/R NFL Scouting Department's big board and first among edge-rusher prospects on March 2. The scouts also ranked him as the best speed-rusher in the class.

Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network provided the following analysis on Paye:

"Paye was a terrific football player for Michigan and is an outstanding story off the field. He's athletic with speed as well as solid playing strength, and Paye comes with a large upside. I envision him being used at defensive end in a four-man line as well as occasionally standing up over tackle to rush the passer. Paye will only improve as he physically matures and adds bulk to his frame."

Orion Sang of the Detroit Free Press wrote extensively about his background, which involved his mother, Agnes, fleeing Liberia and Sierra Leone due to the war in the region before eventually landing in the United States:

"Paye was born in Guinea as a refugee of the first Liberian civil war. His mother, Agnes Paye, fled Liberia and settled in Sierra Leone, where she gave birth to Paye's older brother, Komotay Koffie. When the war spread to Sierra Leone, she fled to Guinea and gave birth to Kwity, whom she named after her father."

Sang's entire profile is worth reading for numerous reasons, but it gives a glimpse into Paye's perseverance and determination in the face of significant adversity. Those intangibles, plus his physical tools, give him the chance to be a very special NFL player.

He'll now look to make his mark in the NFL with the Colts.

They made a big investment in DeForest Buckner, acquiring him from the Indianapolis Colts and handing him a four-year, $84 million contract. Buckner paid Indianapolis back by recording 9.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss and making his first All-Pro team.

Between Buckner and Paye, the franchise could have an imposing defensive line for years to come.