Alabama Team News

Alabama DT Da’Ron Payne already creating buzz for 2018 NFL Draft

Da'Ron Payne
Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

Alabama defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne won’t be in the 2017 NFL Draft, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t already being scouted for the future.

Both Houston Texans analyst John Harris and SEC Network analyst Cole Cubelic praised Payne as a top prospect for the 2018 draft Thursday on Twitter.

Cubelic began the conversation when he shared film of Payne and said he has the chance to leave as the best defensive tackle under Nick Saban. He added that he has “impeccable” power and “solid technique with great hands.”

Harris, responding to Cubelic’s tweet, said Payne was a “stud” and “would be the first true DT off the board if he were eligible in this draft class.”

Other defensive tackles under Saban at Alabama include Marcell Dareus, Terrence Cody, Jarran Reed, A’Shawn Robinson, Dalvin Tomlinson and Jonathan Allen, who is projected to be a top-five pick in the 2017 draft.

Payne, who started all 15 games for the Crimson Tide, finished with 36 tackles, including 3.5 for a loss, 1.5 sacks and one fumble recovery last season as a sophomore. He also was a contributor in Alabama’s defensive line rotation as a true freshman.

RELATED: Recalling each of Nick Saban’s 5-star defensive recruits at Alabama

(You can follow Dan Mathews on Twitter @DanMathewsATL)

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