Indianapolis Colts

From refugee camp to NFL dream, Kwity Paye drafted by Colts

Michigan's Kwity Paye prepares to rush the quarterback during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl between the Michigan Wolverines and the Florida Gators on Dec. 29, 2018, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. (Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis Colts chose Michigan defensive end Kwity Paye in Thursday night’s NFL draft.

Zak Keefer, a Colts analyst for News 8, said, “Kwity Paye was the No. 1-ranked player on @BruceFeldmanCFB’s 2020 Freaks List. I like the pick. Adds some punch to a defensive pass rush that needs it. Can likely address left tackle in Round 2.”

Keefer added, “Word from Colts facility— team’s pretty pumped they got Kwity Paye at 21. Not a lot of talk of trading back. Paye was the highest player on their board.”

News 8’s Charlie Clifford says on Twitter, “At the moment, with 15.5 sacks already off the roster from ‘20 (Autry – TEN /Houston – FA ) & a stable of unproven, young edge rushers — this is a very smart move.”

News 8’s Olivia Ray tweeted, “Pass rush coming to Indy.”

In 2016, he was named Gatorade Football Player of the Year as a senior at Bishop Hendricken High School in Warwick, Rhode Island.

He played 28 games at the University of Michigan from 2017 to 2020, acquiring 59 tackles and 11.5 sacks. He played only four games in the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Paye, 22, was born in a refugee camp in Guinea, from where he, his Liberian mother and his brother emigrated to the United States when he was 6 months old. He’s named Kwity after his maternal grandfather who was killed in the First Liberian Civil War.

Ray also shared a video on Twitter in which Paye told his mom she is now retired because he was drafted.

The Colts had the No. 21 pick in the first round.