The Washington Redskins went with a defensive lineman out of Alabama in the first-round a year ago.
The Redskins finished the 2017 season 3rd in the NFC East with a 7-9 record.
It also was a strong response to moves other divisional teams have been making.
And on Thursday night, Payne officially became an National Football League player.
Washington's run defense ranked last in the league statistically a year ago.
"I get the opportunity to play with old teammates", Payne said in a conference call from a party with family members in Birmingham, Alabama. He said he was hopeful he'd end up in Washington. What surprises might be in store for Washington Redskins fans tonight? "I just liked the vibe I got when I was down there".
A player that was somewhat overshadowed throughout the season due to star teammates such as Rashaan Evans and Minkah Fitzpatrick, Da'Ron Payne made a name for himself throughout the draft process ending up with him landing with the Washington Redskins with 13th overall pick.
"That's my guy", Payne said. Each pick pushed standout defensive talent down the board and directly into the path of a Washington team with several defensive needs and plenty of players on their radar.
Payne, meant to be a run-stopping force alongside Jonathan Allen, has the upside of a player who can become a consistent pass rusher as well. It is the second year in a row that the Redskins chose a Crimson Tide defensive lineman with their first choice. If they don't, however, they may mull over trading back to acquire more picks. It is the second such occurrence in the team's full draft history, including the selection of Oklahoma's George Thomas and Leon Heath in the 1950 and 1951 drafts, respectively.
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