2019 Season Countdown: #17 Kwity Paye

2019 Season Countdown: #17 Kwity Paye

August 16, 2019
Kwity Paye (image via Wolverines Wire)

Name: Kwity Paye
277 lbs.
High school:
Providence (RI) Bishop Hendricken
Defensive end
Jersey number:
Last year:
I ranked Paye #33 and said he would be a backup weakside end (LINK). He started four games and made 29 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 1 pass breakup.
TTB Rating:

Paye was an under-the-radar recruit in 2017 who ended up as an Under Armour All-American. Last year he started to pay off on that promise. He was slated to be a backup until Rashan Gary hurt his shoulder, when Paye stepped in to become a four-game starter. He also proved himself as perhaps Michigan’s most versatile defensive lineman, a guy who could play anywhere on the line – inside, outside, weakside, strongside – and at least get a pass rush.

I could make an argument to rank Paye much higher on this list, but this is the lowest I can go. Paye has great versatility, but Michigan also has a fair amount of depth, especially at his primary position, defensive end. While I expect Paye to be the starting weakside end, Michigan is also getting a Pro Football Focus All-American in Mike Danna (transfer from CMU) and a top-100 player in Luiji Vilain (back from injury). I like Paye and think he can be an exciting cog in Michigan’s defense.

Prediction: Starting weakside end; 45 tackles, 5 sacks


  1. Lanknows
    Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Aug 16, 2019 at 12:51 PM

    No matter how you slice it Paye is an integral player in our defense and if he goes down the reverberations will be felt across the DL — at SDE, WDE, and DT.

    That versatility is so valuable. It keeps Hutchinson rotating, without needing him to deliver on every down or worrying about wearing him down. It’s insurance on Danna not being an impact guy. It minimizes the concerns about pass rush from DT in obvious passing situations.

    I do think Uche can take a bigger role at DE but I’m not convinced that Villain is ready to contribute. We need 8 or 9 DLmen to rotate in and we only have 4 or 5 we can really count on right now – maybe 6 if Dwumfour can finally get healthy. We have enough options that a couple others will enter the mix, but there’s not so much depth that losing one of the top guys (Paye, Hutchinson, Kemp, Danna) won’t be a serious problem.

  2. Painter Smurf
    Comments: 263
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    Painter Smurf
    Aug 17, 2019 at 10:07 PM

    Don Brown has been hinting that Paye looks like their best defensive player. Seems to be expecting an all conference season out of him, at minimum.

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