Commanders DT Daron Payne surges in re-draft
The Washington Commanders got exactly what they wanted and arguably more from Daron Payne in 2022. While the defensive tackle's run-stopping still needs work, there was a noticeable surge forward in production after those in power opted not to pick up his fifth-year option.
This cost the Commanders a considerable amount to keep around their former first-round selection. Payne was given the franchise tag before signing a four-year, $90 million deal that also came with a whopping $60 million guaranteed to ensure the player's around throughout his prime years.
Payne also got some love recently from Gary Davenport of The Bleacher Report in his recent 2018 re-draft. The one-time Alabama stud went No. 3 overall to the New York Jets, although the writer conceded their trade-up for quarterback Sam Darnold was the only viable outcome.
"[Daron] Payne is an excellent lineman. It took Payne a little while to truly hit his stride, but hit it he has. In 2021, the 6'3", 320-pounder posted 61 total tackles. The following season, Payne exploded for a career-best 11.5 sacks and 64 tackles. Payne and Quinnen Williams (whom the Jets drafted third overall in 2019) would be a truly terrifying pair of tackles. Now all New York has to do is wait for Aaron Rodgers."- Gary Davenport, The Bleacher Report
The Commanders will be hoping Payne continues his upturn in consistency now he's getting paid like a top-tier interior defensive lineman. Something that could push him into the truly elite category along the way.