Report: Colts' Kwity Paye Cleared After Heart Issue Was Red-Flagged in Physical

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2021

Images of Michigan defensive lineman Kwity Paye are displayed on stage after he was chosen by the Indianapolis Colts with the the 21st pick in the first round of the NFL football draft Thursday April 29, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

The Indianapolis Colts selected Michigan defensive end Kwity Paye with the No. 21 overall pick in Thursday's 2021 NFL draft, but that wasn't the only good news he received. 

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported it was a "wild week" for the pass-rusher because he "had a very serious health scare when his heart was red-flagged during a pre-draft physical." However, he was cleared following a number of tests. 

Rapoport noted the troponin levels in Paye's blood were initially high, which can signal heart damage but may have been caused by a difficult workout the day before his physical. Fortunately for the prospect, further tests revealed his levels had normalized.

It was surely a frightening situation, but the Colts felt comfortable enough to take him with a first-round pick.

Paye was dominant during the 2019 season for the Wolverines, finishing with 50 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. He played in just four games during the shortened 2020 campaign and posted 16 tackles, four tackles for loss and two sacks.

The lack of games this past season didn't stop him from impressing leading up to the draft.

B/R's NFL Scouting Department ranked him as the 22nd-best player in the draft, the best edge rusher and the best speed rusher. That fits an area of need for the Colts considering Justin Houston and Denico Autry are no longer on the team.

They were second and third in sacks for the Colts last season, respectively, leaving DeForest Buckner as the only player on the roster who had more than four sacks for Indianapolis in 2020.

Buckner is someone who could draw double teams, which would open up blitzing lanes for Paye during his rookie campaign.