Name: Kwity Paye
Weight: 277 lbs.
High school: Providence (RI) Bishop Hendricken
Position: Defensive end
Jersey number: #19
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: 81
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
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