Kwity Paye’s incredible journey continues with two sacks in two NFL games


Edges Michigan defenseman Kwity Paye was viewed by most analysts as a sporting freak, but somewhat of a work in progress as a 2021 draft prospect. Paye placed third on Touchdown’s list Wire from the best defensemen in the class, and our Mark Schofield noted that while Paye was still putting together his toolbox, he also showed great speed and effort to reach the quarterback.

Detroit Lions left tackle Tyrell Crosby and quarterback Tim Boyle would likely agree. With 13:34 left in the first quarter of the preseason game between the Paye Colts and the Lions, Paye passed Crosby, sacked Boyle and produced a fumble that was recovered by defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth.

After stepping out of the first preseason game, Paye showed his mettle right away in Week 2 when he pitched Vikings left tackle Rashod Hill for that Kirk Cousins ​​sack.

Paye, selected 21st overall in the 2021 draft, appears to be a big addition for a Colts defense that ranked 18th in pressure rating in 2020 with 23.3% of their pass defense snaps leading to pressure , and had just 40 sacks all season – the Steelers led the league with 56.

While the transition from the NCAA to the NFL is generally difficult for most players, Paye has already had it more difficult than most. His family escaped from a refugee camp in Sierra Leone before he was born, and he was born in another refugee camp in Guinea. Paye’s family moved to America before he was old enough to remember, but the horrors his family experienced are still with him.

“Well first of all he’s got a good squad,” said the COlts general manager the day his team selected Paye. “He’s number one. To be put on the set in the first round, you need to have a really good tape. Then you have to go through the rest of the process. What his story tells you is this kid – he has survival skills and when it gets tough in this league, he’ll be able to handle it. It’s a tough league. It’s hard and you will fail. The players are going to fail, you are going to have a hard time, and you have to have something in you that gets you through.

“I think one of the really good things our scouts are able to do is find those types of players. From Quenton (Nelson) to Braden (Smith) to Darius (Leonard), you can go through the list of guys who have had theirs – they might not have had a great start to their careers, but they just kept going. to fight and they have a level of confidence that they are going to be good players in this league. I think Kwity has that.

So far, with a sack in each of his first two NFL games, Paye shows no challenge is insurmountable.


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