TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Former Alabama defensive lineman Da’Ron Payne is now a first-round NFL draft pick after a stellar three-year career for the Crimson Tide.
Payne was selected No. 13 overall by the Washington Redskins on Thursday night. Last year the Redskins took Alabama defender Jonathan Allen in the first round.
Payne earned Defensive MVP honors at the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the College Football Playoff National Championship Game to help lead the Tide to its 17 th national championship this season. He recorded an interception and a touchdown reception against Clemson in the Sugar Bowl to help seal UA’s 24-6 win over the No. 1-ranked Tigers. The Birmingham, Ala., native finished 2017 with 53 tackles, one tackle for a loss (-7 yards), one sack (-7 yards), three pass breakups, a team-high eight quarterback hurries, one fumble recovery and one interception.
Payne went from weighing approximately 350 pounds when he arrived at Alabama to just over 300 when he played his final games.
Payne was considered a 5-star prospect. He was ranked No. 14 nationally in the final Scout300, No. 18 in the Rivals100 and No. 29 by the 247Sports Composite.
Payne shocked onlookers when he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.95 at the NFL combine. His 1.67-second 10-yard split was faster than that of Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa, who went No. 3 overall in the 2016 draft.
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