Could the Washington Redskins once again go with an Alabama defensive lineman with their first round selection in the NFL Draft?
WalterFootball.com’s Charlie Campbell believes so in his latest mock draft, as he has the Redskins picking Da’Ron Payne with the No. 13-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Washington, of course, selected Jonathan Allen with the No. 17 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
“Payne dominated at the point of attack in 2017, stuffing runs while showcasing his freakish speed and athleticism,” Campbell writes. “On the year, he totaled 53 tackles, two half-sacks, three passes batted, an interception and a touchdown reception. I heard general managers and scouts raving about Payne all season.
“Scouts were already raving about Payne’s potential in the preseason. He was the Crimson Tide’s best defensive lineman in 2017, following Jonathan Allen’s moving on to the NFL. Payne (6-2, 319) is a run plugger with a lot of potential to grow. When given the opportunity to rush the passer in 2016 and 2017, Payne was impressive, and sources have said that he helped set up sacks for Jonathan Allen, Tim Williams, Ryan Anderson, and Rashaan Evans the past two seasons.”
In three seasons with the Crimson Tide, Payne appeared in 44 games and recorded 102 tackles (five for loss) along with six passes defensed, three sacks, two fumbles recovered, one fumble forced and one interception. Additionally, Payne recorded a one-yard touchdown reception in Alabama’s Sugar Bowl victory over Clemson earlier this month.
During his junior season in 2017, Payne earned a first-team All-SEC selection by The Associated Press, as he recorded 53 tackles, 45 of which came against the run according to his official Alabama bio
Along with his touchdown reception against Clemson, Payne recorded his first career interception along with two tackles and one pass defensed en route to Sugar Bowl Defensive MVP honors.