Da’Ron Payne, Alabama: 2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 09: Defensive lineman Da'Ron Payne
TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 09: Defensive lineman Da'Ron Payne /

Alabama’s Da’Ron Payne is a powerful defensive line prospect who holds his ground at the point of attack.

Da’Ron Payne features good size, bulk and length for a defensive tackle. His game is based on power and the ability to control the line of scrimmage. However, it’s important to note that he has some athleticism and quickness to his game.

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Payne uses his combination of strength and long arms to anchor after contact. He is able to clog up running lanes and occupy blockers. This helps keep the linebackers clean as they pursue the ball carrier.

While Payne is a strong run defender in college he needs to clean up some areas as he heads to the NFL. He has a tendency to immediately raise his pad level off the snap. This exposes a lot of his frame and limits his leverage.

He also doesn’t consistently gain inside hands; mainly looking to rip or swim past the blocker. These type of moves are typically reserved for penetrating defensive linemen.

Payne needs to do a better job tying his plan of attack to his strengths. This includes looking to gain inside hands and controlling the action. Improving these areas of his game will allow him to be a potentially dominant run defender at the next level.

As a pass rusher, Payne flashes the ability to generate some pressure. He has enough quickness to shoot the gap from time to time. However, he needs to work in more bull rushes and use his strength and power to his advantage.

The big take away is that Payne has the measurables and raw skills to succeed in the NFL. His potential as a run defender will attract a lot of attention. However, there are areas of his game that need to be cleaned up in order to maximize his talent.