4 prospects Panthers could reach for with their 2021 first-round pick
By Dean Jones
Kwity Paye – DE/OLB (Michigan)
Another area that the Carolina Panthers could use some additional reinforcements is within their pass-rush. This was virtually non-existent outside of stud defensive end Brian Burns during the first half of the campaign. But considering how much this group improved down the stretch, it might not be the most pressing need it was earlier in the season.
Perhaps another option might be sought in free agency or the 2021 NFL Draft, which could see them reach for someone with the physical attributes Kwity Paye brings to the table. The Michigan standout recorded 11.5 sacks in 26 games for the Wolverines and has the sort of body that is sure to be a big hit once he gets to the pros.
Paye is a dominant force with some early momentum in games. The prospect is powerful at the point of attack and uses his athleticism well getting around opposing offensive linemen.
There is an interesting story behind Paye not too dissimilar to that of Panthers defensive lineman Efe Obada. So he won’t be found wanting for effort after coming from a difficult upbringing.
If the edge rusher can improve on some fundamentals, he is going to be a solid starter. However, the Panthers can’t afford to take anything but a sure thing at No. 8 overall and they would be gambling on Paye at this spot.