Why doesn’t Colts’ Kwity Paye get media buzz Christian Barmore does?

WESTFIELD, INDIANA - JULY 30: Kwity Paye #51 of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
WESTFIELD, INDIANA - JULY 30: Kwity Paye #51 of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

The Indianapolis Colts‘ defense has been a huge disappointment in 2021.

Some of that can be attributed to poor roster construction, as Chris Ballard bizarrely opted against signing a veteran pass rusher to lessen the pressure on Kwity Paye, Dayo Odeyingbo and Kemoko Turay.

With Tyquan Lewis out for the year with a knee injury, the Colts are finally starting to see glimpses from their young defensive linemen.

Dayo Odeyingbo, who was recently activated off the PUP list, forced the game-clinching fumble against Jacksonville.

Paye, meanwhile, has flown under the radar as one of the NFL’s most impactful defenders in recent weeks. Despite Paye’s sparkling run of form, however, we’ve seen very little praise for him on our Twitter timelines.

That probably has something to do with the fact that the media has fallen head over heels for Patriots rookie Christian Barmore.

Why is Colts’ Kwity Paye not getting the same love as Christian Barmore?

The easy response would be that Barmore plays for the Patriots, one of the most recognized franchises in the league, and hails from Alabama, which is a legitimate dynasty at the college level and mass-produces NFL-ready talents.

It would also help if the Colts defense ranked in the top five in both points and yards allowed per game and were trending toward making the playoffs.

Regardless, it still doesn’t sit right that Paye’s contributions are falling by the wayside while Barmore has become the darling of NFL Twitter.

The fact of the matter is that Paye has logged the most pressures in the league over the last two weeks. If you go back as far as Week 8 (three weeks ago), the No. 21 overall pick is tied for the second-most QB pressures.

During that same stretch, Paye’s pass rush rate sits at 20%, the fifth-best mark in the game. That means he’s applying pressure every five snaps.

That’s absurd for a rookie. The other names near the top of that list are Matt Judon, Maxx Crosby, Jeffrey Simmons, Deatrich Wise and Josh Allen, each of whom have at least two full years of experience under their belts.

We saw a lot of people turn on Paye for his slow start, ignoring the fact that he battled an ankle injury during training camp and a hamstring injury that sidelined him for two weeks, which includes about eight practices.

Have we forgotten that hamstrings linger for weeks and months? Everyone was so fixated on his first-round billing that they dismissed the fact that Paye has only been at full strength for the last month of the season.

Despite playing just eight games, the Michigan product trails only DeForest Buckner for the team lead in pressures (22), quarterback hits (six) and hurries (19). He does, however, own the best pass rush win rate at 31.4%.

Regardless of how highly you regard Pro Football Focus’ player grades, Paye is the highest-graded rookie through 10 weeks at 79.6.

We know Barmore has been a world-beater and has a longer track record of success in that he’s been delivering since Week 1, but it’s about time the media starts mentioning Paye’s name when it gushes over the Patriots’ rookie phenom.