LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The Washington Redskins selected defensive lineman Da’Ron Payne in the first round (No. 13 overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Payne (6-2, 311) played in 44 games at Alabama from 2015-17. During his time with the Crimson Tide, Payne compiled 102 tackles (39 solo), 5.0 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, five pass breakups, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and one interception. Payne was an integral part of an Alabama defense that helped the team qualify for three consecutive College Football Playoff National Championship berths, including titles following the 2015 and 2017 campaigns.
Last season, Payne totaled 53 tackles (21 solo), three pass breakups, one fumble recovery, 1.0 sack, one interception and one offensive touchdown in 14 games, earning first-team All-SEC honors from the Associated Press. In the Sugar Bowl, he recorded his first career interception, returned it 21 yards and then capped the ensuing drive with a one-yard touchdown reception. He garnered Defensive MVP honors in both the Sugar Bowl and the College Football Playoff National Championship.
As a sophomore in 2016, Payne tallied 36 tackles (12 solo), 1.5 sacks and one pass breakup in 15 games. He also scored the first touchdown of his collegiate career at Ole Miss on a three-yard return of a fumble forced by current Redskins linebacker Ryan Anderson. He also appeared in all 15 games as a freshman in 2015, contributing 13 tackles (six solo), a half-sack and a forced fumble.
Payne, 20, attended Shades Valley High School in Irondale, Ala., where he was rated as a five-star prospect and the No. 1 player in the state of Alabama by Rivals.com. He was born May 27, 1997.
NOTES ON THE SELECTION OF DA’RON PAYNE
- Payne is the 467th selection made by the Redskins in the Common Draft era (since 1967) and the 29th first-round selection in that time frame. He is the 60th first-round selection by the Redskins all-time since the institution of the draft in 1936.
- Payne’s selection marks the second straight year in which the Redskins have selected a defensive player with their first selection of the draft (DL Jonathan Allen in 2016). The last time the Redskins selected defensive players with their first selection in consecutive drafts was in the 2013-14 drafts, in which the team selected CB David Amerson and LB Trent Murphy, respectively (both in the second round).
- With the first-round selections of Allen and Payne across the 2017-18 drafts, the Redskins have now selected a defensive player in the first round of consecutive drafts for the first time since 2004 (S Sean Taylor) and 2005 (CB Carlos Rogers).
- The selections of Payne and Allen – both University of Alabama products – in the first round of back-to-back years mark the first time the Redskins have selected players from the same school in the first round of consecutive drafts in the Common Draft era. It is the second such occurrence in the team’s full draft history, including the selections of Oklahoma’s George Thomas and Leon Heath in the 1950 and 1951 drafts, respectively.
- Payne and Allen became the first set of college teammates from the same position group selected by the same NFL franchise in consecutive first rounds since the San Francisco 49ers took Oregon defensive linemen Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner in the 2015-16 drafts, respectively.
- Payne is the 10th defensive player selected by the Redskins in the first round since 1999, joining CB Champ Bailey (1999), LB LaVar Arrington (2000), S Sean Taylor (2004), CB Carlos Rogers (2005), S LaRon Landry (2007), DE/LB Brian Orakpo (2009), LB Ryan Kerrigan (2011) and DL Jonathan Allen (2017). Nine of the 10 defensive players selected by the Redskins in the first round in that time frame have earned at least one Pro Bowl selection during their career. The lone exception – Allen – was limited to five games by a season-ending Lisfranc injury as a rookie last year.
- Payne’s selection marks the sixth time in the Common Draft era that the Redskins have selected a defensive lineman in the first round, joining Jonathan Allen (2017), Ryan Kerrigan (2011), Brian Orakpo (2009, transitioned to linebacker in 2010), Kenard Lang (1997) and Bobby Wilson (1991). The Redskins also selected Tracy Rocker (1989, third round), Markus Koch (1986, second round), Bob Slater (1984, second round), Duncan McColl (1977, fourth round) and Bill Brundige (1970, second round) with the team’s first selections of each of the drafts listed.
- With the selections of Payne and Allen, the Redskins have now used first-round selections on defensive linemen in consecutive drafts for the first time in the Common Draft era.
- Payne is the 24th player from the University of Alabama selected by the Redskins all-time, joining B Riley Smith (1936), B Charley Holm (1939), E Sandy Sanford (1940), T Fred Davis (1941), G Ed Hickerson (1941), G Tony Leon (1943), B Bobby Jenkins (1945), T Fay Mills (1946), B Harry Gilmer (1948), B Lowell Tew (1948), T Dick Flowers (1949), E Ed White (1950), B Eddie Salem (1951), C Elliot Speed (1951), B Billy Hicks (1956), T Billy Neighbors (1962), E Tommy Brooker (1962), DB Steve Higginbotham (1972), DT Thomas Rayam (1990), T Chris Samuels (2000), G Arie Kouandjio (2015), DL Jonathan Allen (2017) and LB Ryan Anderson (2017). Alabama’s 24 all-time selections by the Redskins are third-most from any school in franchise history, trailing only Notre Dame (34) and USC (30).
- Payne’s selection at No. 13 marks the fifth-highest the Redskins have selected a player from the University of Alabama, trailing B Harry Gilmer (No. 1 in 1948), B Riley Smith (No. 2 in 1936), T Chris Samuels (No. 3 in 2000) and B Lowell Tew (No. 4 in 1948).
- Payne is the eighth Southeastern Conference product selected by the Redskins in the first round in the Common Draft era. The Redskins have now selected an SEC product in the first round of consecutive drafts for the first time since 1999 (Georgia CB Champ Bailey) and 2000 (Alabama T Chris Samuels).
- Payne becomes the third player selected by the Redskins all-time with the No. 13 overall pick, joining FB Ray McDonald (1967) and DE/LB Brian Orakpo (2009).
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