Redskins visiting with Alabama nose tackle Da’Ron Payne on Monday

Da’Ron Payne is one of the players who will be an option for the Washington Redskins first round pick. He is with the team on Monday for a pre-draft visit.

As we enter the final stretch of the lead-up to the 2018 NFL Draft, top prospects are still going on important visits and focusing on trying to help their draft stocks. And the Washington Redskins will surely be one of the teams interested in meeting with these top players.

Among those players is Alabama’s Da’Ron Payne. The projected first round pick scheduled a visit with the Washington Redskins earlier this month, and the visit is officially taking place on Monday, according to ESPN’s John Keim. Payne is a sensible potential option for the Redskins, and the team should certainly consider taking him with the No. 13 pick.

At Alabama, Payne was a run stuffing athlete who opened up a lot of opportunities for other Alabama players to get pressure on quarterbacks. In his final season, Payne recorded a career high 53 tackles and had a key interception against Clemson in the College Football Playoff. He was a force to be reckoned with during that run, and it demonstrated that he would be a quality pro player.

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During the Combine, Payne did a lot to establish himself as the potential top nose tackle in this class. Comparing him to Vita Vea, Payne has more athletic ability and makes more of a consistent impact on games than Vea. While Payne’s stats are a bit lacking in the pass rush department, he stands out on tape and should be a solid three-down player in the NFL.

For those wondering if Payne will in fact be an option for the No. 13 pick, it’s looking possible. Per Keim, both he and Vea will garner consideration, though the team has visited with some other options.

Payne is in play for Washington in the first round of the upcoming draft. A key will be whether they feel he can be a three-down player. If so, he would have to be an option at 13 (as is Vita Vea, who will visit this week as well). Another defensive lineman, Tim Settle, visited Friday. He’d be a candidate after the third round; he’s widely projected as a third-round pick who could sneak into the second.

In ranking these options based on talent, it would likely be Payne, Vea, and then Settle. At least, that’s how this analyst would rate them. If the team stays at No. 13, then grabbing a guy like Payne would be the most sensible option, unless Minkah Fitzpatrick falls into their lap. That said, trading down and getting Derrius Guice could be the team’s best option, and that would allow them to grab Settle in Round 2. So, this is something to keep an eye on.

Either way, the Redskins are looking for a nose tackle. All three of these players, and in particular, Payne, are on their radar as they look to upgrade a position that has been a long-term problem for them. It seems probable that they will finally fix the problem that has plagued them since their switch to a 3-4 defense.

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