The first Michigan Wolverines is off the board in the 2021 NFL Draft as defensive end Kwity Paye was taken No. 21 overall to the Indianapolis Colts. The draft spot seemed pretty fair for where he was projected to be taken, and Paye will fill a need for a contender in the AFC right off the bat.
With all the hoopla of Draft Day coursing through every fan's veins, let’s take a look at how some former teammates, fans, and media outlets reacted to the selection.
First off is a touching moment between Paye and his mother as he told her on a post selection interview on ESPN that she wouldn’t have to work another day in her life:
New Colts pass rusher Kwity Paye telling his mother that she’s done working and will be retiring is an amazing moment pic.twitter.com/Bti1MHWBmn— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 30, 2021
The Indianapolis Colts officially welcomed their first selection of 2021 on Twitter:
The Wolverines were ecstatic after getting their first selection in the 2021 NFL Draft:
Former teammate at Michigan and New England Patriots’ EDGE rusher Josh Uche joined the celebration:
Our buddy Sam Webb gave his praise to Paye and had a forward-looking message for the prospect:
Congratulations @OfficialKwity! No. 21 to the Indianapolis Colts. Watched you go from being an under the radar kid voted into the UA All American game by the fans to being a 1st rd draft pick. Your best football definitely ahead of you!— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) April 30, 2021
The Big Ten Network gave their thoughts on the fit for the Colts:
Zach Shaw from 247sports joined the discourse and brought up an interesting stat in the process:
As noted in this story, Michigan has now had a player taken in the #NFLDraft for 83 consecutive years dating back to 1939. Tied with USC for the longest-such streak in the country. https://t.co/xgf3mxxu7S— Zach Shaw (@_ZachShaw) April 30, 2021
What would you do after getting drafted? Well, Kwity Paye wanted to take some names and challenged fans to a game of Madden:
Former Colt himself Pat McAfee shared his thoughts on his stream of the Colts’ pick and takes a shot at Michigan in the process:
Another former Colt, Darrius Bulter, gave some praise for the franchise filling a need:
Love love love this Kwity Paye pick by the @Colts . I thought Darrisaw was going to be the pick but this was another need for my squad.— Darius Butler (@DariusJButler) April 30, 2021
Colt’s writer Zak Keefer shared what he heard from the Colts’ war room after the pick:
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.— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) April 30, 2021
Keefer also shared Colts’ GM Chris Ballard’s thoughts on the pick:
Chris Ballard: "Good night for the Colts. Good night for the city. I’ve made some easy picks ... Kwity Paye was very easy. Sometimes it goes your way, and tonight, we felt like it went our way."— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) April 30, 2021
As a Michigan fan, you have to like what everyone is saying about this pick. The Colts fill a need, and Kwity Paye will have a chance to earn a starting gig and potentially tear it up in his rookie season with one of the better teams in the NFL. Best of luck to the Michigan product going forward!