According to NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks, Indianapolis Colts edge Kwity Paye is among his ‘Top 10 second-year breakout candidates’ for 2022:
Indianapolis Colts · DE
Gus Bradley’s defense thrives when he is able to feature explosive bookend pass rushers in the lineup. Yannick Ngakoue’s arrival enables the Colts to play the former Pro Bowler opposite a young, athletic defender with outstanding burst. As a speed rusher with an explosive first step and excellent body control, Paye should see plenty of one-on-one matchups with opponents focused on neutralizing Ngakoue and DeForest Buckner at the line of scrimmage. If the second-year pro takes advantage of his opportunities, he could post a double-digit sack season as the third option on a disruptive front line.
The former 21st overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft finished his rookie season with 32 tackles (16 solo), 3 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks, 39 total QB pressures, 2 fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, and a pass defensed during 15 starts.
He was named to the PFWA 2021 All-Rookie Team and was PFF’s highest graded edge rusher from this past season:
Highest pass rush grades among rookie Edge Rushers last season— PFF IND Colts (@PFF_Colts) April 19, 2022
Kwity Paye: 71.3
Gregory Rousseau: 69.3
Odafe Oweh: 64.5 pic.twitter.com/bWEtCNP5Sa
With Yannick Ngakoue primarily playing the speed rushing LEO role, Paye will presumably see a lot of action as the ‘big end’ on the other side of the Colts defensive line. However, he should ideally play all over given his versatility.
With a unique speed-power combination as a pass rusher and a husky build, he should be able to hold his own with his newfound role. Plus, as mentioned too, he should see a lot of one-on-one matchups as a byproduct of playing alongside Ngakoue and DeForest Buckner in the defensive trenches.
Given his continued growth as the 2021 season progressed and how far he’s come in his promising early pro career, it would be quite foolish to bet against Paye breaking out.