Paye's grade of 71.3 on pass rush downs edged out Gregory Rousseau (69.3) and Odafe Oweh (64.5) of the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens respectively.
However, Micah Parsons of the Dallas Cowboys is listed as a linebacker by PFF even though he split time linebacker and edge in 2021. Parson's 93.0 pass rush grade wouldn't have only led rookie edge rushers by a large margin, it was tied with Aaron Donald as the highest pass rush grade of any player in the NFL regardless of position.
Regardless of Parson's position or brilliance in 2021, there are a lot of reasons to be excited about Paye's future as an edge rusher for the Colts.
Paye's Colts career got off to a slow start after being taken with the 21st overall pick out of Michigan last year. He had just six tackles in the Colts first two games before missing all or parts of the next three game dealing with a hamstring injury.
Paye finished the seasons strong with four sacks in his final eight games. He earned his highest grade of the season from PFF Week 9 against the New York Jets.
He was graded 90.1 overall with a pass rush grade of 90.5 in 54 snaps. Ironically, it wasn't one of the games he recorded a sack, but he had two quarterback knock downs.
Paye's emergence as a steady force off the edge the second half of last season bodes well for his sophomore campaign with the Colts. Indianapolis will hope he can take the next step to become an 8-10 sack man off the edge in 2022.