Patriots: 8 Potential first-round picks who don’t play quarterback
Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan
Kwity Paye is going to be one of the most frustrating players to scout in this upcoming NFL Draft. That’s because he looks the part. A Rhode Island native, Paye is 6-4 and 270 pounds. That’s ideal size for a speed rusher. He’s also expected to run a 4.57 40 yard dash and a 4.15 pro shuttle; that’s better than any defensive lineman at the 2020 combine. Add 30 reps on the bench press and 11.3 in the 60-yard shuttle, and it’s clear Paye is an elite athlete.
He’s a first-round athlete, but at Michigan, that talent never showed up on game day. Based on his junior season of 2019, which is easiest to judge because he only played four games in 2020, Paye had just 6.5 sacks and 50 total tackles. Now, those aren’t bad numbers, but they don’t match the athlete he tests as, and that was the only collegiate season in which he put up decent numbers.
So, what’s real? Paye’s production or his measurables?
Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami
Gregory Rousseau, like so many others, opted out of the 2020 season. The same questions will follow him into the draft, as people will wonder if he’ll be rusty on the field or have stunted his development. Rousseau also only has one true season of college football, and that will scare teams from him.
With that being said, Rousseau is an amazing talent. He’s got great size at 6-6 and 260 pounds. Rousseau is also able to play from multiple fronts, where many defensive linemen can only play out of either a four or three-man front. Production has never been a concern for Rousseau either, as in just 14 college games, he has 15.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss. Rousseau explodes off the ball, is expected to test at an elite level, and is being compared to Chase Young. If he’s on the board at 15, the Patriots need to take him.