Scouting Report: Da’Ron Payne, DT

Would the Patriots consider an interior defensive lineman early in this draft?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

I am back! For real this time. I am going to prove it to you by getting at least a couple of scouting reports out to you all before the end of this week. I have a lot of catching up to do on these and the notebook is full of chicken scratch that I hope I can still decipher. I won’t bore you with any other tidbits today, instead, I will just get right to the report.

Name: Da’Ron Payne (#94)

School: Alabama (Jr.)

Height: 6’2″ (unofficial)

Weight: 308 Lbs (unofficial)



What is sort of funny in regards to Payne is, if you watched just his final two games you would have a completely different perspective on him than what the bulk of his tape has shown. It was almost as if Alabama took the reigns off of him and allowed him to showcase his athleticism a little more. He has good size for the position and he is bulked up in all the right places. He has a stout trunk and thick, powerful legs. Payne has long, strong arms and uses them well to create space and steer his opponents to where he wants them to go. As I stated before, he has good athleticism for his size despite Alabama rarely allowing him to showcase it. He has an effective rip more and swim move when rushing the passer. Payne is very stout against the run and can handle double teams well. He also shows the potential to be an effective pass rusher from the interior. He is a blue collar worker than did a lot of the dirty work that allowed his teammates to rack up the stats.



The one big concern that noticed when watching Payne play was that he continuously comes out of his stance high.  He must work on playing with better pad leverage or he will get moved around at the next level. The other aspect of his game I would like to see improvement on his hand use. Despite having a good rip and swim move, his hands are not always active and he can lose leverage. I chalk this up to him not really being asked to much more than hold the point of attack, but it is something that if improved will really help his overall game.



Payne to me seems like a Patriots type player and a guy they may see as a value pick because he does not have a gaudy stat sheet from his time at Alabama. He comes to the NFL as a guy who can come in and be a run stopper from day 1 and has shown the potential to be more than that. With Alan Branch’s age and injury concerns over the season, the Patriots could look to add another young interior Defensive Lineman to the mix. Look for Payne to come off the board somewhere in the last half of the first round or early in the second. If Payne is a guy the Patriots target, I would prefer it be with the pick the team acquired from San Francisco.






21 Responses to “Scouting Report: Da’Ron Payne, DT”

  1. EdgeX says:

    I have the Patriots draft needs as:

    1. LT – what happens to Solder in the off season will determine the rest of the draft

    2. DE – Obvious. Duh.

    3. DT – Believe it or not I agree with Mike. Branch’s injuries and age getting up there are a concern. They need more young players in the pipeline here. Love both Vita Vea and Da’Ron Payne. Depends who is available when the Pat’s pick, and if all of the elite level DE’s are off the board when the Pat’s pick, I wouldn’t be upset if they used their first rounder on either of these guys.

    4. TE – Gronk is great. Gronk plus a legitimate TE second option in the red zone and a guy that can really take heat off Gronk will take this offense to another level. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Pats cut both Allen and Bennett in the off season.

    5. LB – Hightower and McClellin both have injury concerns every year. They need some more stability at this position.

    6. CB – We might lose Butler in the off season. But we still will have Gilmore, Rowe, Jonathan Jones, and hopefully Cyrus Jones can turn the corner next year. They could always use another CB. But I feel pretty good about this group.

    • Jeff says:

      I agree with those for sure. Hopefully Solder gets extended and reduces the need for that position. The only change I’d make is to push DT to the bottom of the list, maybe worth a shot in later rounds, but with 4 guys (Brown, Guy, Valentine, and Butler) all projected to be on the roster, there’s not a lot of space on the roster, and a developmental guy might be just fine for next season.

      • steve earle says:

        About DT, it will depend on who is available. I really think there will probable two very good prospects around for our low 2nd that will be hard to pass on. In spite of recent improved overall d-line play it’s a critical position that should never be taken for granted. As it is we still give up to many plays inside for my liking.

        • EdgeX says:

          I agree with Steve. I feel the Pat’s have given up too many plays up the middle this year. It could because of injuries and lack of edge defenders that can really set and hold the edge. And this could have a trickle down effect on the whole defensive line. Either way you slice it the defensive line positions at DE/DT need to be addressed in the off season.

    • Matt says:

      I agree about TE. I was looking at some highlights on Youtube they showed one guy from South Dakota. Dallas Goedert he seems to be a great receiver but i’m not to sure how he is at blocking.

  2. Stephen J says:

    No Thanks I’ll pass on Payne.

    1 Don’t see DT as a need

    2 Even if it were I’d take Deadrin Senat of South Florida in the mid rounds over Payne in the 1st early 2nd any day of the week. Not saying Payne is bad just saying Senat was more productive doing the same thing and can be had later in the draft as of right now. Somewhere in the second half of this year the light went on for Senat he was either taking on double teams and opening lanes for the LB’s or living in the backfield making TFL’s or Sacks.

    • Stephen J says:

      ………………..Da’Ron Payne………………. Deadrin Senat(6’1″ 305)
      Solo Tackles…21……………………………..35

      • GM-in-Training says:

        I agree DT is not a round 1 or round 2 need.
        Also, the Pats like their DT at least 6’2″ and 320#.

        • steve earle says:

          Agree this size DT is needed as a run stuffier like Wolfolk showed throughout his years here. The problem is finding one and there are few around especially in the draft class coming out. That leaves either trying to sign a FA or drafting a DT who does not ideally fit the description but can still play the position. Otherwise we will have a hole in the roster which will be effected if injuries occur.

        • Stephen J says:

          Ricky Jean Francois 6’3″ 313 lbs

        • Stephen J says:

          As far as Senat he is 6’1″ on all sites I check out but his weight is either 305 lbs( CFBStats) 311 lbs(Google Search) or 318 on USF website so have to weight and see with the draft related activities take place to get an accurate assessment.

    • steve earle says:

      I’ll pass on Payne also but disagree DT is not a need. It may not be the highest priority but if this is indeed Branch’s last year, as many are speculating, then indeed a replacement on the roster should be acquired whether via draft of FA.

      • Stephen J says:

        Alan Branch replacement is already on the Pats roster in Valentine he was just on IR this year and Guy filled in admirably it may have taken him some time to adjust and learn the play book but Guy has been doing well the last few weeks.

        • steve earle says:

          Valentine is or has been a decent rotational back up but has not been confused with a serious impact DT like Branch or Wolfolk before him. Just size alone is not the only measurment for the position IMO.

        • Stephen J says:

          He had a couple of starts last year and did fine when he did later on in the year not so much at the beginning. Plus the addition of Guy no need for one this year. Next year is where it will be at. The only thing they may do is give a one year contract to Ricky Jean Francois since he is familiar with our system already and has done well when called upon.

        • steve earle says:

          Just checked out Tim Settle that Russell noted came out. The kid has the right size and looks to have the skills and room to develope into a dominate DT. Only one year starter but he is the kind of DT I’d like the Pat’s to invest in. Yea, Valentine did okay in a couple games and Guy does okay as does Ricky JF but come on none of them dominates like Wolfolk did and that’s what is missing in our interior D-line IMO. We get run on to frequently and our pass rush sure could use that boost.

        • Stephen J says:

          Let me ask you this how high would you go to draft him

    • Mike Gerken says:

      You might be right in not taking Payne with that high of a pick and I am certainly not advocating it. This is just how he graded out for me. I also would not use a stat sheet as your main argument. For most of this season, Payne has been asked to take on double teams and allow others to make plays. It was only in the final few games that he got to showcase his athleticism and his potential.
      Remember, Vince Wilfork did not have eye popping stats coming out of college or throughout his time in New England, but he was extremely important to the defense.

      • Stephen J says:

        Stats are just one aspect seeing them play another aspect and times measurements are another. You also could say the system being played is another aspect to consider. If the stats are not there then you have to find out why not ie this QB only played 24 games and the productive QB’s have played 30 games. Well he was a Juco transfer and only played two full seasons or it was injury related. You need all to form a picture and make a decision.

  3. Russell says:

    great report Mike! I have DT Payne going to Oakland ( 10th pick) which maybe early, but I like him better than Vea, or Wilkins. Payne is a John Gruden type guy.

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