Look, I’m not going to sugar-coat this - I didn’t like the Redskins selection of Da’Ron Payne at number 13 overall. This is less about Payne himself, and more about who was available when we picked.
In my opinion, the draft set up perfectly for the Redskins to land an elite player at pick 13, who also happened to fill a position of need. Four quarterbacks were selected in the top 10 and San Francisco made somewhat of a surprising pick by select Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey at pick 9. Vita Vea, who some had linked to the Redskins, was selected at pick 12 by the Bucs.
When the Redskins came on the clock, both Derwin James and Tremaine Edmunds were staring them in the face. Both players are athletic freaks who would have filled a big need on defense while giving the Redskins an elite player at the pick. Some will argue that safety and inside linebacker are already covered, but I will contend that Montae Nicholson can’t stay healthy and Mason Foster is only on a two-year deal and is slightly above average. Do we really want to see Swearinger trying to cover as a single-high anymore?
What the Redskins did with Payne was reach for a player who would have most likely been taken in the late teens to early twenties, and took a need over more talented players on the board. I actually don’t mind the need pick, as defensive line was most certainly a big issue last year. What I could not stomach is that two elite prospects were left sitting on the board when just a few days ago Doug Williams said in his pre-draft presser that the team would draft the best available player at pick 13. No one out there would put Payne above either James or Edmunds. If anyone still wants to doubt that a pure BPA approach doesn’t exist, this draft should prove that true. There were teams reaching for needs all over the first round.
I have questioned Payne’s college production and rightfully so. In 35 games, he had just 102 total tackles, five for a loss, and three sacks. He has outstanding measurables, standing 6’3” and weighing 311 pounds. He has long arms, big hands, and his speed (4.95 40) and strength (27 reps at 225) are outstanding, but the production has never really matched the hype. If Alabama had not made it into the 2017 College Football Playoffs, would Payne even be considered in round two... because this is where he made a name for himself.
Anyways, in Payne, the Redskins do get some positives.
First, the guy is just 20 years old (he won’t turn 21 until late May). He has not even come close to reaching his potential as a player. Like I said above, his measurables are absolutely outstanding, comparing favorably to Gerald McCoy.
Second, he’s a true run stuffer, who played the zero and 1-tech at the best college football program with the best defense in the county in Alabama. He gets to line up next to his former teammates Jonathan Allen and Ryan Anderson, both of whom he knows very well, and do what he does best - tie up blockers to keep those around him free. Although he’s known as a run-stuffer, he does have the potential to be a threat rushing the passer. He’s extremely quick off the football, and despite the fact he tends to stand straight up off the ball, he’s got the ability to be plenty disruptive.
Third, he gets to come into the NFL in a very comfortable situation, and work under the tutledge of one of the best defensive line coaches in the game in Jim Tomsula. If anyone can mold him into a complete 3-down defensive linemen, and take his game to another level, it’s JimTom.
I don’t love the selection of Da’Ron Payne at number 13, but I will probably come around to it in time. Had we been able to trade back into the late teens or early twenties and then selected him, I would have felt much differently about the pick, but leaving who we did on the board doesn’t sit very well with me now.
I have no choice but to welcome him into the Redskins family, and hope that his play this fall will turn me into a believer. HTTR!
How do you feel about the selection of Da’Ron Payne at number 13?
This poll is closed
There were better options on the board for us
Big reach for him at pick 13
He fills a big need, and I’m fine with that
I feel ok, because he’s being coached by Tomsula - if anyone can get more out of him, it’s JimTom