Colts: 3 edge rushers Indy has to target in 2021 NFL Draft

Michigan DE Kwity Paye (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Michigan DE Kwity Paye (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Michigan DE Kwity Paye (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

2. Kwity Paye

Colts fans should be hoping Kwity Paye is available at No. 21 overall.

A slew of draft experts have pegged Kwity Paye as the most talented edge rusher in this year’s class and the only reason we don’t have him higher on this list is the sheer unlikelihood that he’s available when it’s the Colts’ turn to pick in the first round.

Paye further bolstered his draft stock at Michigan’s pro day, when he clocked a 4.53 40-yard dash and a jaw-dropping 6.38 three-cone time, which is strikingly impressive for a bruising defensive lineman who stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 272 pounds.

The 22-year-old has taken some heat for his lack of production with the Wolverines, as he finished his four-year career with 97 tackles (23.5 for loss) and 11.5 sacks. However, that can largely be attributed to Michigan’s rotations and defensive scheme, which, for reasons we still don’t comprehend, wasn’t designed to accentuate his unique skillset.

Paye also appeared in just 28 games at Michigan including just four as a senior due to a groin injury and COVID-19 breakouts within the program. Despite that, he still managed to register the best pass rush win rate (25.8%) in the Big Ten last season, according to Pro Football Focus.

Again, it would be extremely unlikely if Paye fell to the Colts. If he does, however, Ballard and Co. better not think twice about drafting him, because he could end up filling their defensive end void for the next decade when all is said and done.