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Payne Durham could be an option at TE for the Commanders

Hogs Haven takes a look at 2023 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Commanders

NCAA Football: Purdue at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Payne Durham, TE

School: Purdue| Conference: Big Ten

College Experience: RS Senior | Age: 22

Height / Weight: 6’5” / 258 lbs

Projected Draft Status: 4th-6th Round

Player Comparison: Daniel Bellinger

College Statistics

Receiving & Rushing Table
Receiving Rushing Scrimmage
Year School Conf Class Pos G Rec Yds Avg TD Att Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
2019 Purdue Big Ten FR TE 7 9 82 9.1 4 0 0 0 9 82 9.1 4
2020 Purdue Big Ten SO TE 6 16 166 10.4 3 0 0 0 16 166 10.4 3
*2021 Purdue Big Ten JR TE 10 45 467 10.4 6 0 0 0 45 467 10.4 6
*2022 Purdue Big Ten SR TE 13 56 560 10.0 8 1 4 4.0 0 57 564 9.9 8
Career Purdue 126 1275 10.1 21 1 4 4.0 0 127 1279 10.1 21
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 2/28/2023.

Player Overview

It’s hard to believe Payne Durham did not begin playing football until his senior year of high school. Durham’s sport of choice until that point: lacrosse. He parlayed 33 catches into a three-star prospect rating that caught the attention of Purdue. He saw his number of targets increase each year while maintaining about a 10 yard per catch average. This past season, he put up career highs in catches, yards, and touchdowns in what is only his fifth year playing the sport.


  • Prototypical size for the position
  • Long-strider helps him cover ground quickly
  • Makes tough, contested catches
  • Competitive blocker


  • May struggle to separate from defenders in the NFL
  • Could stand to improve his route running
  • A good blocker, but needs to sink hips and improve leverage

Let’s see his work

How he fits on the Commanders

Durham's attitude is something I’d love to see at the Commanders’ tight end position. He is a capable blocker and has shown solid ability as a pass catcher with some possible run after the catch potential. Although he did not run the ball much, Purdue lined him up as an HB at times which he might be able to do at the next level. Is that enough to warrant a draft pick? The Commanders might move on from Logan Thomas and no one else on the roster demonstrated starter-level ability this past season. Cole Turner and Armani Rogers are all potential and John Bates ceiling appears to be TE2. Durham could come in and should be just as good a blocker as Bates while offering a little bit more in the passing game. Durham is just scratching the surface of what he can do.