Daron Payne
refer to caption
Payne with the Washington Football Team in 2021
No. 94 – Washington Commanders
Position:Defensive tackle
Personal information
Born: (1997-05-27) May 27, 1997 (age 25)
Birmingham, Alabama
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:320 lb (145 kg)
Career information
High school:Shades Valley (Irondale, Alabama)
College:Alabama (2015–2017)
NFL Draft:2018 / Round: 1 / Pick: 13
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2021
Tackles:227
Sacks:14.5
Forced fumbles:4
Fumble recoveries:3
Pass deflections:9
Interceptions:1
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Daron Payne (/dəˈrɒn/ də-RON; born May 27, 1997) is an American football defensive tackle for the Washington Commanders of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Alabama, where he won the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship and was named its most valuable player on defense, before being drafted by Washington in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Early years

Payne attended Shades Valley High School in Birmingham, Alabama, where he played high school football for the Mounties.[1] He was rated as a five-star recruit and committed to the University of Alabama to play college football.[2]

College career

As a true freshman at Alabama in 2015, Payne had 13 tackles and half a sack.[3] As a sophomore in 2016, he had 36 tackles and 1.5 sacks.[4][5] In the National Championship Game against Clemson, he recorded five tackles and a half sack.[6]

As a junior in 2017, Payne was named the defensive MVP of both postseason games that Alabama played.[7][8] In the Sugar Bowl versus Clemson, he intercepted a ball and scored an offensive receiving touchdown on the resulting drive. In the National Championship Game against Georgia, Payne had six tackles to help lead Alabama to their second national championship in three seasons.[9] After his junior year, Payne declared his intentions to enter the 2018 NFL Draft.[9] During his time at Alabama, Payne's given name was commonly misspelled as Da'Ron, which he requested to change back to Daron for his professional career.[10][11]

Daron Payne Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
College statistics
Year G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
2015 8 6 7 13 0.5 0.5 0 0 0 1 0 1
2016 13 12 24 36 3.5 1.5 0 0 0 1 1 1 0
2017 14 21 32 53 1 1 1 21 21 0 3 1 0
Career 35 39 63 102 5 3 1 21 21 0 5 2 1 1

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 2+12 in
(1.89 m)
311 lb
(141 kg)
33 in
(0.84 m)
9+38 in
(0.24 m)
4.90 s 1.66 s 2.84 s 4.71 s 7.58 s 28+12 in
(0.72 m)
8 ft 11 in
(2.72 m)
27 reps
All values from NFL.com[12][13]

Payne was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the first round (13th overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft.[14][15] On May 10, 2018, Payne signed a four-year contract worth US$14.4 million featuring a $8.56 million signing bonus.[16] He recorded his first career sack in Week 3 against the Green Bay Packers.[17] He finished his rookie season with 56 tackles, five sacks, a forced fumble and fumble recovery, and was named to the 2018 PFWA All-Rookie Team as a result.[18]

Payne sacking Tom Brady in Wild Card Playoff game against the Buccaneers.
Payne sacking Tom Brady in Wild Card Playoff game against the Buccaneers.

In Week 14 of the 2020 season against the San Francisco 49ers, Payne forced a fumble on quarterback Nick Mullens, which was recovered and returned for a touchdown by Chase Young and would also recover a forced fumble by Young.[19] In Week 15 against the Seattle Seahawks, Payne recorded his first career interception off a pass thrown by Russell Wilson during the 20–15 loss.[20] Payne finished the 2020 NFL season playing 880 snaps and recording 54 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and an interception. He also recorded two sacks against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.[21]

The team exercised the fifth-year option on Payne's contract on April 27, 2021,[22] which guarantees a salary of $8.529 million for the 2022 season.[23] He was added to the COVID-19 reserve list on August 1, 2021,[24] before being re-activated on August 5.[25] Payne and defensive end James Smith-Williams sealed the Week 11 win over the Carolina Panthers after they sacked quarterback Cam Newton on fourth down with less than a minute and a half left in the game.[26]

References

  1. ^ Blanton, Al (January 7, 2018). "The Man with the Gold Hands: Da'Ron Payne, a coach's love, and the Catch Heard 'Round the World". Saturday Down South. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  2. ^ "Five-star defensive tackle Daron Payne has committed to Alabama". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  3. ^ Zenitz, Matt. "Alabama's two rising stars along defensive line are freakish athletes". AL.com. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  4. ^ Zenitz, Matt. "Alabama freakish defensive lineman Da'Ron Payne preparing for expanded role". AL.com. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  5. ^ Zenitz, Matt. "Alabama rising star Da'Ron Payne slimming down, still freakishly strong". AL.com. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  6. ^ "Clemson vs. Alabama - Box Score - January 9, 2017". ESPN. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  7. ^ Allstate Sugar Bowl [@SugarBowlNola] (January 2, 2018). "Congratulations to tonight's Most Outstanding Defensive Player, Da'Ron Payne! #SugarSemi" (Tweet). Retrieved May 6, 2022 – via Twitter.
  8. ^ College Football Playoff [@CFBPlayoff] (January 9, 2018). "The Crimson Tide stuffed the Georgia run down the stretch to will @AlabamaFTBL back into the game. For his efforts in the trenches, senior DL Da'Ron Payne is the 2018 CFP National Championship Defensive MVP" (Tweet). Retrieved May 6, 2022 – via Twitter.
  9. ^ a b Scarborough, Alex (January 10, 2018). "Calvin Ridley declares for draft; RB Damien Harris to stay at Bama". ESPN. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  10. ^ Lewis Jr, Lake. "Notes from Redskins' rookie minicamp". USA Today. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  11. ^ Keim, John. "No apostrophe, no hype, no problem for Redskins' Daron Payne". ESPN. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  12. ^ "NFL Draft Prospect Profile - DaRon Payne". nfl.com. March 1, 2018. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  13. ^ "Alabama DT DaRon Payne : 2018 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile". NFLDraftScout. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  14. ^ Czarda, Stephen. "Redskins Select Alabama Defensive Lineman Da'Ron Payne". Washington Commanders. Archived from the original on April 27, 2018. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  15. ^ Gruden, Jay. "Quotes: Head Coach Jay Gruden, DL Da'Ron Payne 04-26-18". Washington Commanders. Archived from the original on May 1, 2018. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  16. ^ "Redskins sign first-rounder Da'Ron Payne to rookie contract". NFL. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  17. ^ Inabinett, Mark (September 24, 2018). "Alabama NFL roundup: Jonathan Allen, Da'Ron Payne sack Packers". AL.com. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  18. ^ "Daron Payne Named To PFWA 2018 All-Rookie Team". Washington Commanders. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  19. ^ Jhabvala, Nicki (December 13, 2020). "Washington's defense fuels 23–15 win over 49ers, and team takes over first place in NFC East". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  20. ^ "Seattle Seahawks at Washington Football Team - December 20th, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 20, 2020.
  21. ^ "Football Team's Daron Payne: Starts 16 games".
  22. ^ Stackpole, Kyle (April 27, 2021). "Washington Exercises Fifth-Year Option On Daron Payne". Washington Commanders. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  23. ^ "Washington exercises Daron Payne's fifth-year option". April 26, 2021.
  24. ^ Jhabvala, Nicki. "Daron Payne is added to the Washington Football Team's expanding covid-19 list". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 2, 2021.
  25. ^ Around the NFL Staff. "Roundup: Washington activates Brandon Scherff, Daron Payne from reserve/COVID-19 list". NFL. Retrieved August 5, 2021.
  26. ^ "Heinicke, Washington spoil Newton's homecoming 27-21". ESPN. November 21, 2021. Retrieved November 23, 2021.