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Meet the Prospect: Kwity Paye

Name: Kwity Paye

Position: Edge rusher

School: Michigan

Ht/Wt: 6-2/261

Arm length: 33 inches

Hands: 10 inches

Wing span: 78 1/2 inches

40-yard dash: 4.52 seconds

Bench press: 36 reps

Vertical leap: 35.5 inches

Broad: 9 feet 10 inches

How he fits: The Lions made a key move this offseason re-signing veteran defensive end Romeo Okwara, their best pass rusher last season. Okwara wanted to stay in Detroit and continue playing with his brother and fellow pass rusher Julian Okwara, who the Lions selected in the third round in last year's draft. Re-upping with Romeo was a key move for Lions general manager Brad Holmes this offseason.

Detroit also returns experienced edge rushers Trey Flowers and Austin Bryant, along with Charles Harris, Joel Heath and Robert McCray.

Edge rusher isn't a huge need heading into the draft, but teams can never have too many good ones, and Paye is considered one of the top edge rushers in this class.

Paye is extremely versatile, lining up on both edges, over center and even dropping back as a spy linebacker at times at Michigan. He recorded 6.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss to go along with 50 tackles in 12 games in 2019. He had 16 tackles (four for loss) and 2.0 sacks in four games played due to injury and the Wolverines' shortened season in 2020.

While the overall production might not be there, Paye has all the raw tools to be a terrific edge rusher once he develops better pass-rushing instincts with NFL coaching.

Key observations: Paye was the No. 1 ranked player on Bruce Feldman's 2020 Freaks List. He appeared in 38 games in his Michigan career with 20 starts along the defensive line. Voted a team captain by his teammates in 2020.

What they had to say about him: "Paye has the ideal frame and explosiveness for an NFL edge rusher. He's at his best playing on the outside, but Michigan had him moving all around their front, including playing head-up over the center. As a pass rusher, he is explosive out of his stance, but it looks different because of his short/choppy steps. I'd like to see him cover more ground, but that is easily correctable. He has violent hands to create a knockback, but he still needs to develop a better plan to consistently escape and finish. I love his effort and determination.

"Against the run, he crushes tight ends at the point of attack and can close in a hurry from the back side. He does have some stiffness in space, but he's a capable dropper in the flat. Paye is raw, but there could be a huge payoff when he puts it all together." – NFL media analyst Daniel Jeremiah

What he had to say: "At times when I start thinking about it, my heart starts to beat faster," Paye told The Detroit News last month of being on the doorstep of a dream that started in sixth grade of playing in the NFL. "When I was in middle school I always dreamt I get the chance to go play in the NFL even though those chances were very small. Coming from Rhode Island, you don't see anybody get drafted first round or playing college football at a high level, so for me, it was all a dream up until I'm here now looking back. It's wild."

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