Roll Tide in The Burgundy & Gold
Welcome back to The B&G Report. Thursday Night’s 1st Round Selection had some fans torn. On one hand they addressed a huge area of need while solidifying the Defensive Line, but they also passed on two top shelve prospects in Derwin James & Tremaine Edmunds. Personally I had those two and Payne ranked about the same on my board. I did have Edmunds ahead by a hair, the resigning of Zach Brown pushed Payne up the Redskins Draft board. I understand Edmunds has the ability to also play OLB Speed Rusher as well, but word is they are working on signing Preston Smith to an extension and I feel confident it’ll get done. As far as passing on Derwin James is concerned, it made sense to me. Although I like James, the Sean Taylor comparisons are insane! His height/weight/position is where the similarities end! I’ve heard that the Skins truly believe that DJ Swearinger & Montae Nicholson are the future and adding James would be a luxury as this point in the Draft.
Now we move on and welcome Alabama Da’ron Payne to Washington! Well lucky for Payne he’ll have two familiar faces when he lines up on Sunday’s. As most fans are aware, 2017 1st Round selection John Allen and 2017 2nd Round selection Ryan Anderson all played together at Alabama. The connection and chemistry can’t be understated in regards to these three players. Just want to share a few thoughts on Payne and the impact his addition will have on the future success of this defense.
Bringing The Pain
I’ve heard the dissatisfaction from fans on social media, regarding Payne’s low number of sacks, which consisted of only 3 total career sacks at Alabama. Well check the tape! Payne was asked to occupy double team blocks often in Saban’s 3-4 scheme. Payne played as a 2, 3 and 4 technique Tackle, but his primary responsibilities were to open up holes for his linebackers and get pressure on the QB when necessary. Although the gaudy sack and turnover numbers went to the the Crimson Tide Linebackers and DB’s, the big man contributed in multiple ways. Payne did add a Goal Line receiving TD vs Clemson after an interception on the previous drive. Payne looked nothing like a Dancing Bear, showing his speed by returning the interception nearly 30 yards, before making a toe tapping Goal Line touchdown reception a few plays later. He looked like a Giant Tight End! This was no William “TheRefrigerator” Perry type gimmick play either! Point is his athleticism is extremely underrated.
(YouTube Bama vs Clem)
Payne was a huge contributor to Alabama’s National Championship Team. His efforts were finally recognized as his collegiate career concluded. Payne was named Defensive MVP in the College Playoff vs Oklahoma, as well as being awarded the Defensive MVP in the National Championship game vs Georgia. In the Georgia game, Payne was responsible for 7 QB pressures and 6 tackles for run stops. Payne was also responsible for helping bottle up UGA and new Browns running back Nick Chubb, who had 18 carries for 25 yards with a 1.4 per rush average. The other UGA back Sony Michel had a much better day with 98 rushing yards, but I truly believe Sony is a special back and will do big things in New England. Getting back to Payne, even when he wasn’t in on the tackle, he was disruptive and overwhelming UGA’s heralded offensive line. Payne did a lot more than just Beast Out in those two games, he dominated all year long. In Payne the Redskins are getting an Athletic/Pocket Pushing talent, who with good coaching has the potential to be a very good pass rusher. Defensive Line Coach Jim Tomsula qualifies as a match made in Heaven for Payne, in my humble opinion. So as Skins fans if your looking for game tape to justify selecting Payne, look no further than the College Playoff vs Georgia, as well as The National Championship. After his selection by the Redskins, Da’ron Payne participated in a conference call with NBC Sports Washington Insider JP Finlay and Redskins fans found out just how strong Payne really is.
“Can you really bench 500 lbs?”-JP Finlay“Yeah at least 500, that’s no problem for me!”-Da’ron Payne
As I mentioned at the start of the Draft process, the Redskins needed a difference maker on the defensive line. I pounded the table for Washington U’s NT Vita Vea, but I knew he was too special to last until #13. Other Skins Fans/Readers constantly challenged my opinion that Vea would be Drafted early, well Tampa Bay didn’t agree and selected him with the 12th overall pick. In a previous B&G Report article spotlighting in which Vita Vea and Da’ron Payne were featured, I mentioned a key difference in the two players. The importance of chemistry was a key advantage that Payne had over Vea. If both Payne and Vea were available at #13, the Redskins would have had tough decision on their hands. Tampa Bay ended up aiding the Redskins with that decision. Rumor has it that the Skins were too hesitant to trade back and possibly lose Payne in the process, so they stood pat and selected him at #13. Well now the Redskins boast a fearsome threesome on defensive with Payne, Allen and Anderson. The chemistry between these three will go a long way in creating a cohesive unit, with the rest of the Redskins defense. This squad will emphasize power, pressure, collapsing the pocket and wreaking havoc in 2018! The Tide Connection is real!l Skins Nation!
Washington had one of the craziest Day 2’s I’ve ever witnessed as a Redskins fan! All I’ll say is I’m extremely excited to welcome Da’ron Payne and new Redskins Running Back Derrius Guice! This scenario seemed like a fantasy less than 24 hours ago! Redskins Nation should be excited for what’s to come! Stay Tuned for the next B&G Report, as Day 3 of the 2018 Draft concludes with more analysis and prospect breakdowns to follow.
Written By Adam Aniba