At pick No. 13, Washington selects Alabama DT Da’Ron Payne.
Here is our scouting report on Payne: Had only three sacks in as many seasons at Alabama, but he’s a run-stuffer with good size and comes from a defensive powerhouse.
A closer look at Payne, via STATS Inc.:
Overview: As a freshman in high school, Payne weighed 300 pounds and could dunk a basketball. He grew into a 350-pound five-star recruit as a senior and steadily cut weight without losing strength at Alabama.
After a year as a true freshman backup, Payne started 29 games from 2016-17, collecting 89 tackles (4.5 for loss), 2.5 sacks and six passes defensed over that span. He dominated in the 2018 College Football Playoff, including an interception and receiving touchdown in a span of eight plays in the Sugar Bowl.
He stood out at the NFL Scouting Combine with a 4.95-second 40-yard dash at 311 pounds.
Analysis: Don’t let the modest production mislead the evaluation of Payne, who progressed during his three years into a highly disruptive player who should only get better. Asked primarily to eat blocks, he anchored against double teams and squelched opposing run games with discipline. He’s extremely well built and country strong but carries his weight well with nimble movement for his size.
The biggest question is whether Payne can rush the passer at the next level. He’s explosive enough to do so but didn’t penetrate often in college, showing a limited array of pass-rush moves and hand techniques. He also plays a bit too high off the snap, undermining his burst and ending some rushes early.
Payne should be a stud run defender from Day 1. Despite minimal results, he flashes in this regard, and with his developmental arrow pointing up, he should be a better rusher as a pro.