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Todd McShay: Kwity Paye, Gregory Rousseau still top edge rushers in 2021 NFL Draft

McShay says one could be worthy of No. 11 pick

Central Michigan v Miami Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

In his most recent mock draft, which was done before the Carolina Panthers acquired quarterback Sam Darnold from the New York Jets, ESPN’s Todd McShay does not have an edge rusher selected until the Indianapolis Colts take Kwity Paye at No. 21.

In that mock draft, he has the Giants trading down from No. 11 to No. 15 with the New England Patriots and selecting Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.

Could McShay, though, see the Giants selecting an edge rusher at No. 11?

“I could,” McShay said during a call with reporters on Monday. “The tricky part is, to be honest, with five quarterbacks going in the top 11 and then four pass catchers also going in the top 11 it kind of pushes back everyone in terms of the defensive side.

‘I could see the Giants definitely taking a defensive end or an edge rusher at that point, but I think because of all the quarterbacks and pass catchers there’s a good chance that they get pushed back a little bit.”

After the Jets-Panthers trade it is possible, of course, that only three quarterbacks go in the top 10.

In McShay’s mock, he gives Wake Forest defensive end Carlos Basham to the Giants at No. 42. That comes after a run on the true edge defenders. Paye (No. 21, Colts), Gregory Rousseau (No. 26, Cleveland Browns), Jaelan Phillips (No. 30, Bills), Azeez Ojulari (No. 31, Chiefs), Ronnie Perkins (No. 36, Dolphins), Joe Tryon (No. 39, Panthers) all go off the board in the back half of Round 1 or the early part of Round 2.

McShay believes Paye is the best edge rusher in the class.

“The first thing that jumped out to me when studying him was how sudden he is, that first step quickness that he has,” McShay said of the 6-foot-4, 261-pound Paye.

“The second thing that jumps out after the suddenness is his motor. There’s no Michigan player that played harder than Kwity Paye. He’s always chasing plays down from behind. He’s always giving max effort. I love that about him.

“I think he’s going to be a better pro than he was a college player.”

The second-best edge rusher? McShay remains bullish on Rousseau despite reports that his mediocre pro day and lack of experience have him potentially slipping out of Round 1.

“Rousseau I think is the second-best and some teams think he’s the best edge rusher in this year’s class. The problem is we didn’t see him this past year.

“You just see the athleticism and the ability to finish and to get home as a pass rusher. There’s not many guys that can get home the way that he does … if he continues to develop in terms of his strength and being more physical he can be an every down defensive end. Right now you plug him in and he’s going to provide you pass rush ability right away.

“He’s athletic, he’s got some bend and he’s got that closing burst you look for in an edge rusher.”