In the coming weeks, we will be going position-by-position and previewing this year’s draft class. Before we get into the reports though, it’s important that we explain how our grading scale works. As a scouting staff, we use common terminology to grade every trait that we evaluate. We use a 1-9 scale with a 1 representing a “Reject” grade and a 9 meaning a “Rare” grade for whatever trait we are evaluating. We spend a lot of time in our internal Scout School making sure that our scales are calibrated with one another, and this common scale and set of language is a key aspect to ensuring that our evaluations are consistent (that…and cross-checks).

Additionally, for each position in the book, there are positional grading scales. As opposed to grading traits, these scales apply to stacking the final grades for each prospect. 

The final edge rusher scale is as follows:

9.0 – 7.0High-end 3-down starter. Pro Bowl level.
6.9 – 6.7Strong starter who plays on all 3 downs.
6.6 - 6.5Lower-end starter. 2 down player or plus pass rusher
6.2Versatile backup with positional flexibility.
6.1 – 6.0Developmental. Top traits but needs time.
5.9Top backup. Quality special teamer
5.8Average backup. Quality special teamer.
5.7Low-end backup Edge with growable upside

For this preview, we will look at Michigan edge rusher Kwity Paye.

Kwity Paye: Edge Rank 3 of 31  | Final Grade: 6.7

Report by Jordan Edwards

One Liner

Paye is a naturally explosive and powerful pass rusher, and if he can improve his pass rush repertoire he can be a dominant edge defender at the next level.


Kwity Paye lines up primarily as a weak-side defensive end in Michigan’s base four-man front. He typically lines up as a 5- or 7-technique, but also stands up at times and has even shown the versatility to reduce down over guards and centers in certain passing situations. He played in 38 games and started in 20. He missed 2 games in the already shortened 2020 season with a groin injury. Paye has a thick, well-cut frame but lacks ideal length as an edge defender. He displays really good athleticism with the agility and burst to pair with his functional strength and power. Paye is a tough competitor who plays with a consistently high motor, rarely taking plays off.

Pass Game

Paye is a twitchy and explosive pass rusher off the edge, who also has the power and strength to collapse the pocket. He has good bend and hip mobility to dip and rip around the arc. Paye displays an effective bull rush as well, getting his hands inside the chest of blockers and generating power in his lower half to drive them into the backfield. He doesn’t display a wide variety of pass rush moves, but his natural athleticism can mask some of these issues. He has strong, quick, and accurate hands to attack. He’s disciplined as a pass rusher and stays in his rush lanes and soundly plays contain. Paye isn’t utilized in coverage often, and when he does it’s usually just as a QB spy at the line. His ability to read and react is adequate, but he has shown flashes of making good instinctive plays.

Run Game

Paye is a solid run defender who can set the edge and play with good strength and power at the POA. He plays with good leverage and pad level when engaging blockers. He displays powerful hands to stack, but his ability to shed off of blocks can be refined. He’s disciplined to his gap responsibilities, whether it be setting the edge or taking on blockers trying to wash him out inside. Paye is a solid tackler as well, displaying good technique and production. He has the motor and range to fly around to the ball at all areas of the field. Paye can improve his instincts and his ability to key and diagnose against the run. He’s often a split-second late to read mesh points in the backfield or trigger to outside runs in his directions.

Last Word

Paye projects to be a three-down caliber player as an open side edge defender at the next level, with the ability to also rush the passer as a stand-up end. On third downs, his combination of power and quickness can be utilized from multiple alignments, as he reduces down well. If he can improve his instincts and rush repertoire up to his natural athleticism and power, his potential as a pass rusher can be special.

Natural athleticismFBI/Instincts
POA/Set EdgePass Rush Repertoire

Critical Factors

Pass Rush Ability6
1st Step Explosion7
POA/Set Edge6

Positional Factors

Pass Rush Repertoire5
Hand Use6
Play Strength6
Flat Coverage4
ST Value5


TacklingPass Rush


YearBroken TacklesBT%Tackle ShareATD+Pres%Pres ShareHolds DrawnEPA on TFLEPA on Sacks

Deep Dive

StancePass RushWhen Run AtTotal PointsTotal Points Rtg
Year3-Point Stance%Rush%Sack%True Pres%Bnc%Pos%Run DefPass RushTotalPer
Per PRPer

Sports Info Solutions (SIS) brings you the third annual edition of The SIS Football Rookie Handbook, with scouting reports and statistical breakdowns on over 300 college football players who are likely to be drafted or signed as rookie free agents in 2021 (a glossary for the below stats can be found here). The book also includes unique and informative NFL team pages, research deep-dives by the SIS R&D team, articles on key football subjects (including injuries), and the NCAA version of their flagship football statistic, Total Points.