The Las Vegas Raiders need to get more sacks in 2021, that much isn’t debatable. What’s up for debate is how to get those sacks, maybe drafting Kwity Paye could be a start.
The former Michigan Wolverine accumulated a total of 11.5 sacks and 23.5 tackles for a loss since 2017. During that stretch, Paye also totaled 59 solo tackles, one forced fumble, and one pass defensed. The six-foot-four, 272-pound defensive lineman has lots of upside and potential due to his high motor, size, and frame, he’s quite the physical specimen. He may not be the most refined pass rusher in this class. However, he definitely warrants a look from the Raiders.
The defensive line wasn’t able to mount much of a pass rush last year despite Clelin Ferrell’s 21 pressures last year. Las Vegas needs a true premier pass rusher and while Maxx Crosby has potential, he regressed last year. Perhaps playing as a rotational EDGE in new defense coordinator Gus Bradley’s would help. Regardless, adding Paye could pay dividends, considering the level of talent Bradley has developed. Also, Rod Marinelli’s track record developing players should entice the team to make a play for Paye.
Should Raiders strongly consider Paye at 17?
Pro Football Focus has Paye as number 11 on their Top 200 Big Board and has him as the best fit for the Raiders when comparing the top defensive line prospects. They cite Paye’s freakish athleticism and movement despite his size along with his three-cone drill performance.
The biggest task for Bradley and Marinelli will be helping Paye become a more polished pass rusher, more technical if you will. PFF pointed out that one of the biggest concerns surrounding Paye is the lack of technique. Imposing strength and running through offensive linemen can only get you so far in the NFL. Luckily for Paye, he’d be under proven tutelage now that the Raiders have moved on from Guenther. While you could argue the Raiders need someone more polished, Paye might end up having too much upside for the Silver and Black to pass up next month.
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