The NFL isn’t far off, and if ESPN’s Todd McShay‘s predictions hold true, two members of the Michigan Wolverines will go on to have fruitful NFL careers.
Defensive end Kwity Paye will be going 21st overall to the Indianapolis Colts, according to Shay’s mock draft.
“He’s either going to be the first or second edge rusher off the board,” McShay said.
The former All-Big Ten selection in 2019 posted 12 tackles, four tackles for loss and two sacks last year in an injury shortened campaign that was already shortened thanks to COVID-19 protocols.
“The first thing that jumped out to me when studying him was how sudden he is, that first-step quickness that he has,” McShay said. “You’ve gotta get this guy up the field. And the second thing that jumps out after the suddenness is his motor.
“There’s no Michigan player that played harder than Kwity Paye. He’s always chasing plays down from behind. He’s always giving max effort, and I love that about him.”
Paye won’t be playing under new Michigan defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, who replaces the recently let go Don Brown. McShay seemed to question whether or not Brown used him properly:
“I think he’s going to be a better pro than a college player,” McShay said. “His production was solid — it wasn’t elite — but developed properly and in the right system and turned up field all the time, he’s gotta chance to be a really good pro. I’m excited to see what he does at the next level.”
As far as receiver Nico Collins is concerned, McShay stated he’s heard from various NFL clubs that he could be a Day 3 selection, though he believes Collins could go earlier owing to his size and speed.
“I did a couple Michigan games two years ago as sideline analyst and, again, he didn’t have great quarterback play and he wasn’t always utilized properly, but he can get down the field and accelerate so quickly for a receiver with his size,” McShay said. “He’s big, and he’s fast. He’s not a great route runner in terms of getting in and out of breaks, but as a vertical route runner, he’s a guy who can stretch the field and put a lot of pressure on defenses.”
As a junior in 2019, Collins put up 37 receptions for 729 yards before opting to sit out the 2020 season.
““I’ve talked to some teams that have him as a day three pick,” McShay said. “I think he belongs somewhere in that third-round range, maybe second, because you just don’t many guys that are 6-4, over 200 pounds and can run in the low 4.4s. And he accelerates quickly. That’s the difference between him and some of the other bigger receivers in this class. He gets to top speed in a hurry, and he tracks the ball vertically very well. He sees it, he knows when to turn his head, and he can adjust to it because he has really good body control.”
The NFL Draft will be held April 29-May 1.
– – Quotes via Angelique Chengelis of The Detroit News Link – –