The wait is over. The Washington Redskins pick is in, and they selected Da’Ron Payne with the No. 13 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
In the lead-up to the No. 13 pick in the draft, things unfolded in just the way that the Redskins wanted. Four quarterbacks went in the top 12. Defensive backs remained on the board for longer than expected, and that influenced what the teams directly in front of the Redskins did. Thanks to the rise of the quarterbacks, the defensive players fell a bit, and one made it into the Redskins lap as a result.
By the time the Redskins were on the clock, they had a few reasonable options. They included Derwin James, Tremaine Edmunds, and Da’Ron Payne. It was just how the Redskins wanted the draft to break, and they were able to get one of their top talents in Payne as a result.
Payne is one of the most athletic players in the draft. He is going to be a three-down player at the next level, and the Redskins needed a nose tackle. I recently mocked him at No. 16 in my final mock, and said the following of his abilities.
"Payne is one of the better nose tackles in this draft, and some argue that he’s better that Vea. Payne has superb athletic ability and can play almost any position on a defensive front. He has a quick first step and solid size at 6-foot-2, 311 pounds. He might not have the pass rushing production one looks for in a prospect, but he still has upside in that department and could be a quality player in the NFL. He just has to develop that portion of his skill set a bit."
At this point, Payne made the most sense. The Redskins have had a gaping hole at nose tackle, and Payne was far and away the second most talented player at the position in this draft. He has athleticism and should pair well with Jonathan Allen as a starter. Now, the defensive line rotation appears to be complete.
There’s no doubt that picking Payne will work out for the Redskins. He has the athleticism necessary to be a three-down player in the NFL. He may not be quite as flashy as James or Edmunds, but he fills a big need. So, the team can’t be slammed for that one.