Michigan defensive lineman Kwity Paye is thought to be one of the most talented players up front in this year’s NFL Draft. His size, speed and athleticism is a combination that a lot of NFL teams will be seeking when April rolls around.

But one detractor for Paye is the lack of production he had on the field at Michigan during the 2020 season. In a shortened year, Paye totaled just 16 tackles and 2 sacks as the Wolverines finished 2-4 — not exactly the kind of numbers you’d expect from a potential 1st-round selection.

That lack of production may not be entirely on Paye, though. NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah says former Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown might be the one to blame.

“I thought Kwity Paye got paralyzed a little bit because they’re playing him in zero-technique, they’re playing him in a three-technique, then they moved him all over the dang place,” Jeremiah said on a Move the Sticks podcast. “Let the guy play over a tight end. Let him play on the edge. Let him beat those guys up and let him use all this twitch and explosiveness off the edge. Give him a runway. When you have that type of explosiveness, space is your friend. Give him a little bit of space between him and the offense. You see some of those flashes. I hated the way that they used him.”

Paye has put up big numbers in the past. During the 2019 campaign, the defensive lineman totaled 50 stops with 12.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks, his most productive year in Ann Arbor. The combination of a shortened season and Brown’s scheme contributed to Paye’s low numbers this past season.

No other defensive lineman at Michigan will have to worry about that concern. At the end of the year, Jim Harbaugh parted ways with Brown following a less-than-impressive season in 2020. Brown is now the DC at Arizona.