The Indianapolis Colts made the fan-favorite selection in the 2021 NFL Draft when they took Kwity Paye in the first round. Paye fits the Colts' team perfectly as a person and a player, and the selection was one of the easier ones in recent years.
While I don't need to give Colts' fans anymore reason to get excited about Paye, I sat down with defensive line trainer Eddy McGilvra recently to talk about Paye.
McGilvra worked with Paye for two weeks in Los Angeles this past month. In those two weeks, McGilvra formed a good working relationship with the young pass rusher and had plenty of great things to say about him.
In today's story, I'll discuss McGilvra's background as a trainer, what he and Paye worked on, and what he had to say about Paye's work ethic and desire to be great.
While McGilvra may not be a huge name in the industry quite yet, he has built up a good reputation for himself in a short period of time. A little over four years ago, he was a DL Coach at the Junior College level.
When his players eventually moved on from JUCO and onto Division I football, they would come back in the offseason and bring some of their teammates. When those teammates would have a great workout or offseason, they would tell others and quickly the word got out about McGilvra's training.
After his name got out there a bit, McGilvra began working with Mamba Sports Academy in 2018/2019 as their DL Coach.
"I was the DL Coach for the draft class and it happened to have Quinnen Williams and some other top guys." said McGilvra. "The guys liked it, agents started recommending me to their players, and it took off from there."
Now, McGilvra is the Co-Founder of the Future Elite Academy. He has a wide range of clients who play across the NFL.
"I’ve worked with Kenny Clark (Packers), Michael Brockers (Lions), Malik Jackson (Browns), most of the Rams’ defensive front, and a bunch of rookies who got drafted like Jaelen Phillips (Dolphins) and Kwity Paye." said McGilvra.
Work with Kwity Paye
McGilvra was initially linked with Paye due to his agency connections. Paye was being recruited by most of the top player agencies going into the draft, some of which used McGilvra to train their defensive line prospects.
"He ended up going a different route with his agency but we kept in touch." said McGilvra. "I told him he could come out to LA whenever, and we could sharpen up some of the stuff he does. He came out here for about two weeks, and we worked almost every single day."
This wasn't prior to the draft either. The two weeks that these two trained together was roughly a month ago, in the downtime between rookie minicamp and Training Camp for Paye.
As to what they worked on, it was mostly about refining the moves that Paye already has in his arsenal and building off of it.
"He really likes going speed to power with his inside long arm move." said McGilvra. "His twitch off the ball is elite for a guy coming out of college, so we worked on transitioning his get-off to some speed to power and worked on some combinations off of the long arm to give him some tools in his bag."
McGilvra only spent those two weeks with Paye, but he was extremely impressed by the growth he saw in that short time period.
"The growth in just two weeks with him was incredible." said McGilvra. "He absorbs this stuff really quickly and knows how to put it all together."
Thoughts on Paye as a Student
While having elite traits is a huge plus in the NFL, a player also has to be there mentally to make it in the league. While I did talk with McGilvra about what they worked on, I also wanted to know about how Paye was as a student and what his football character was like.
"He's extremely coachable. He won’t have a problem at all buying into a coach teaching him something." said McGilvra. "He wants to learn as much as he can and find what works for him."
McGilvra also gave me a cool tidbit about how Paye is approaching his rookie year and other ways he is trying to soak up knowledge:
He wants to be great and is always trying to figure out what can give him the upper hand. He mentioned talking to a few of the offensive linemen from the Colts already along with guys he was training with in LA. I want to say it was (David) Bahktiari from the Packers he was training with at this facility, and he was talking with him about his set and how it’s different from other guys he has seen. So, he was soaking up the knowledge from guys around him and I think that alone will help him develop much faster than most rookies.
I know that most Colts' fans are already sold on Kwity Paye even before reading a word in this article, but it never hurts to get more insight on how a rookie is working in the offseason.
Paye appears to be doing everything right in the lead-up to his first NFL season. That bodes well for the Colts as the rookie will have lofty expectations as the presumed starter at right-side defensive end.
While it is still to be seen how Paye pans out in his first NFL season, he is going about his down time in the best way possible. Hopefully, it leads to breakout in year one.
Follow Zach on Twitter @ZachHicks2.