Da’Ron Payne: 2018 NFL Draft Prospect

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Da’Ron Payne

Da’Ron Payne is a physical specimen that can whip around an offensive lineman like a rag doll. Read if Payne has the strength to muscle himself into the top ten picks of the 2018 NFL draft.

College: Alabama #94Alabama Crimson Tide

Position: Defensive Tackle

Height: 6-2

Weight: 319

40 Time: 5.0 (Squat 600+, Bench 500+)


  • Will be a redshirt sophomore during the 2017 season.
  • This play from the 2017 National Championship game against Clemson is a play Da’Ron Payne probably will not put on the resume he sends out to NFL teams. The Clemson offensive line literally wipes the floor with Da’Ron Payne in a goal line stand that ended with a Clemson rushing touchdown and the lead for Clemson 28-24.
  • However that play was unusual. This is typical for Payne, bulldozing a Clemson lineman. So is this whipping a Tennessee offensive lineman around. And this, against LSU. And this against Florida. Again, Payne squats 600+ and benches 500+, strength is not an issue for Payne.
  • Plays head zero technique out to a three technique. Has the strength to play a two gap technique.
  • Not a bad swim move for an inside defensive tackle. And a good club move. Rip will get better with some NFL coaching.
  • The best way to defeat Payne is to get him stood up which he does occasionally. The offensive lineman gets into Paynes space and uses leverage.
  • If Payne’s first step doesn’t get faster, he could be susceptible to cuts and reach blocks.
  • Payne works best when he gets a hold of the offensive lineman’s sleeve and whips him around like a rag doll.
  • Pretty good balance when he isn’t stood up.


NFL Draft Board Analysis

The NFL Draft Board.

NFL Draft Board Potential

Da’Ron Payne has the physical attributes to gain the attention of a top pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft. With a little more weight and some lower pad play, Payne could be unstoppable. The linemen in the NFL are a little larger, faster and stronger. He won’t necessarily be able to whip them around the way he does college linemen.

Comparative Position Ranking on the NFL Draft Board

One the NFL Draft Board, right now, Da’Ron Payne is the only defensive tackle to appear as a top ten pick. Payne should be on the Outland Trophy watch list for the 2017 season. And, if the 2016 season is a preview of the 2017 season, he should be the favorite to win the Outland Trophy.


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