The Indianapolis Colts were seemingly poised to go one of two directions with their first-round pick in last week’s draft.
They were either going to shore up their left tackle vacancy they refused to address countless times earlier in the offseason or select an edge rusher to help make up for the departures of last season’s starters Denico Autry and Justin Houston.
When the dust settled, Michigan standout Kwity Paye, who was widely pegged as the top-rated pass rusher in this year’s class, was somehow available at No. 21 overall and general manager Chris Ballard seemingly wasted no time handing in his draft card.
So, how did Paye manage to fall that far? Well, the Giants, who could’ve easily justified taking a defensive end, opted to add to their already-rich wide receiving corps by nabbing Florida product Kadarius Toney after they traded back to No. 20 overall.
In essence, the Giants wanted DeVonta Smith, didn’t get him, then simply…went WR anyway.
To say the Colts’ war room was flabbergasted Paye didn’t come off the board then would be an understatement and the group’s reaction, which was caught on film by their miniseries “With the Next Pick,” proves how grateful they were for the Giants’ stupidity.
The Colts war room was stunned the Giants didn’t draft Kwity Paye.
You simply have to love Ballard going around asking, “Everybody alright with Paye?” then breaking out in laughter because he knew the answer.
So, how did the former Wolverine fall into the Colts’ lucky lap? Well, it all started with the Vikings trading out of the No. 14 overall pick. That opened the door for the Dolphins, who were in the market for an edge rusher, to draft Jaelan Phillips with the 18th pick.
Those teams were projected as realistic destinations for Paye. After they passed on him, only the Giants were standing in Indianapolis’ way. Despite having a need for an edge rusher and an offensive linemen, general manager Dave Gettleman decided to equip third-year quarterback Daniel Jones with another weapon.
While the Colts have taken some heat for their approach to the draft, their collective reaction proves how high they had Paye ranked on their big board. The bottom line is they were able to address one of their two biggest needs without having to reach, and that’s precisely how you dominate the draft.
It’s clear nobody in Indianapolis’ war room believed there was a chance Paye would be available beyond the top 15 or so picks. The fact he lasted until No. 21 overall is still difficult to comprehend, and they have Gettleman, and the Giants’ need to figure out what they have in Jones before they make a decision on his fifth-year option next offseason, to thank for that.