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Meet the Prospect: Da'Ron Payne

Name: Da'Ron Payne

Position: Defensive tackle

School: Alabama

Ht/Wt: 6-2, 311

40 dash: 4.95 seconds

Bench: 27 reps

Vertical: 28.5 inches

Broad: 107.0 inches

3-cone: 7.58 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.71 seconds

View photos of NFL prospect Da'Ron Payne.

How he fits: Payne became Alabama's dominant playmaker inside this past season, earning second-team All-SEC honors after finishing with 53 tackles, one sack, one interception and three pass break-ups. He was particularly stout against the run, especially in Alabama's run to the national title in the playoffs as he earned defensive MVP honors in both the Sugar Bowl and National Championship Game.

He has rare athleticism for a man his size with his strength. Payne eats up blocks and allows linebackers to flow freely behind him to make plays.

The Lions lost veteran Haloti Ngata to the Eagles in free agency, which means they'll be on the lookout for a young interior defender to pair with Payne's former Alabama teammate A'Shawn Robinson and Akeem Spence and Jeremiah Ledbetter.

Key observations: Payne only had three sacks in three years at Alabama, but that's not uncommon for interior defenders in Alabama's two-gap system. Payne increased his quarterback pressures from 15 in 2016 to 27 this past season, per statistics.

Payne had his first career interception and touchdown catch against Clemson in the Sugar Bowl.

What they had to say about him: "Payne possesses one of the most impressive combinations of strength and athleticism that we've seen from an interior lineman. He will be the premier run-stuffer in this draft, but he may have enough in the pass rushing toolbox to project as a better pro than college pass rusher. Payne is a game-ready starter who immediately upgrades a defense's ability to slow the run. If teams view him as just a run-down player, then his draft value could fall a little, but he could become a Pro Bowl defender early in his career." – Lance Zierlein

How he stacks up: Scouts Inc. lists Payne as the overall 15th best prospect in the draft class. He checks in at No. 20 on Mel Kiper Jr.'s Big Board.

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock lists Payne as the No. 2 interior defensive lineman available in the draft after Washington's Vita Vea. NFL Draft Scout has the same listing with Vea first and Payne second.

What he had to say: "That's what I want to come out here and show them, that there's more than just a run stuffing defensive lineman, I can actually get after the pass rusher and I'm athletic," Payne said at Combine.

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