By: Steve Johnson
Da’ron Payne, DL Alabama
6’2 1/2 311 33″ arms, 9 3/8″ hands
4.95 40, 28 1/2″ vert, 107″ broad jump
2015: 14 games. 13 tackles, .5 TFL, .5 sack, 1 pass break up, 1 FF
2016: 13 games. 36 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 1 pass break up, 1 FR for TD
2017: 14 games. 53 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 1 int returned 21 yards, 3 pass break ups, 1 FR
Misc. Stats: 1 catch for 1 yard TD in 2017
Accolades: 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, 2015 Freshmen All-American, 2017 First-team All-SEC, 2018 Sugar Bowl Co-MVP, 2018 National Championship Game Co-MVP
History: Five-star recruit out of Shades Valley High School, in Birmingham, Al. Played in the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He chose Alabama over Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, and Georgia. Came into Alabama at 350 pounds.
Strengths: Strong and stout in the run game. Naturally strong kid, could bench 400 lbs in high school. Combines a quick first step with a punch to linemen, throwing them off balance. Stands his ground and eats up blocks. Great balance at the point of attack, rarely see him on the ground. Can bull rush linemen back into the face of the QB. Experience in a pro ran program. Shined in big moments, abused Georgia’s interior linemen in the Nat. Champ. Game. Leader.
Weaknesses: Isn’t ideally long to play as a 5-technique, or enough mass to play inside as a nose tackle. A lot of Alabama defenders haven’t had the same success in the pros, due to having so much talent around them in the program.
Overview: Payne was highly productive at Alabama and dominated Georgia in the title game. He is strong and quick one gap tackle, that best fits in a 40 front.
Draft Projection: 1st Round
Phanaddict Draft Grade: 6.70
How we grade.