Scouting Report: Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

Birmingham, AL | 6016 | 312 | 4.95E | 2019

A freakish athlete and a physical specimen who hails from a different planet. This guy rolls out of bed and eats double teams for breakfast. Arguably the top nose tackle and strongest NFL Draft prospect in the nation. He’s certainly one of the most impressive weight room performers to pass through the Crimson Tide facilities in recent memory. The Alabama strength and conditioning staff won’t let him go above 500 pounds on the bench press, 600 pounds on the squat or 365 pounds on power clean. At 320 pounds, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.93 seconds! He weighed as much as 350-plus pounds as a senior in high school but is down at the 310-range entering 2017; he played his freshman season around 320. He self admittedly had to transition to the speed of the SEC upon his arrival in Tuscaloosa but immediately proved he belonged, earning three starts as a true freshman amongst a highly talented, NFL-caliber group of defensive lineman. “He made quite an impression,” Jonathan Allen (Redskins) commented. “He is very mature for his age and has a great understanding of the playbook. He is a physical specimen, and his strength is very rare.”

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2016: One of the key cogs along the Crimson Tide’s vaunted defensive front … totaled 36 tackles, three quarterback hurries, one pass breakup and a fumble recovery for a touchdown … added 3.5 tackles for loss (-13 yards) and 1.5 sacks (-10 yards) from his nose guard spot … selected to the Lombardi Award Preseason Watch List, given annually to the nation’s top lineman on offense or defense … named one of the Alabama coaching staff’s defensive players of the week for his performance against Mississippi State.

2015: One of the top reserves along the nation’s top defensive front … earned freshman All-America honors from ESPN.com … worked in an expanded role along the defensive front as the season progressed and earned his first career start against Arkansas.

High School/Personal: An elite prospect along the interior of the defensive line … 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl selection … invited to Nike’s 2014 “The Opening” … five-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com … ranked No. 14 in the final Scout300 and listed as the outlet’s No. 4 defensive tackle, No. 2 tackle the South region and No. 1 player in Alabama … the No. 3 defensive tackle nationally by Rivals.com and No. 19 in the Rivals100 … No. 1 player in the state by Rivals.com … No. 20 in the Prepstar Top 150 Dream Team … listed ninth among defensive tackles by ESPN and the No. 2 player in Alabama … No. 48 in the ESPN300 and No. 26 in the Southeast region … a five-star in the 247Composite where he is the No. 29 overall player and the No. 7 defensive tackle … No. 52 in the Top247 and the No. 7 defensive tackle … No. 2 in the final AL.com 2015 A-List … honorable mention Alabama Sports Writers Association All-State team … participated in the 2014 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game … coached by William Smith at Shades Valley High School … chose Alabama over Auburn, Florida State, Clemson and Georgia.