6 defensive ends the Vikings could pick in the 2021 NFL Draft

(Photo by Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports) Carlos Basham
(Photo by Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports) Carlos Basham /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Kwity Paye /

Kwity Paye (Michigan)


  • Height: 6-foot-4 | Weight: 272 pounds

2020 Stats:

  • 16 tackles (4 for a loss)
  • 2 sacks

As the 2021 NFL Draft inches closer and closer, Kwity Paye has begun to emerge as one of the favorites to be the Vikings’ top pick.

Paye doesn’t have the long, lanky build of some of the other pass rushers on this list. But he’s got a motor that is always going at 100 percent.

Paye’s game is all about hustle, whether he’s fighting through blocks on his way to the quarterback or chasing a running back 10 yards down the field. Paye is constantly attacking until the opposing passer is on the ground or the whistle blows.

He has proven to be versatile as he can line up anywhere on the defensive line. That bodes well for his chances of coming to the Twin Cities as Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer recently stated how he wants to be more creative with his defense. Paye’s versatility could definitely add a new wrinkle or two.

There are a  few concerns with Paye as there are with just about any prospect. The biggest is his overall production. Paye has never had more than 6.5 sacks in a season and he only had two last year in what was a shortened and injury-plagued season for him.

He has power, a great motor, violent hands, and definitely the talent to start early in his NFL career. Working with Minnesota co-defensive coordinator Andre Patterson could do wonders for his development and he could very well be the first name the Vikings call on draft day.