Philadelphia Eagles: Grading the first round picks of the NFC East

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Philadelphia Eagles
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With the 12th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins selected Da’Ron Payne, defensive tackle, Alabama.

After watching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers send shockwaves throughout the NFL world by adding Vita Vea to their already loaded defensive line with the 11th overall pick, that Redskins had to settle for the second-best defensive tackle in the draft in junior lineman Da’Ron Payne.

But Payne is a pretty solid consolation prize.

A 311-pound tackle with solid instincts, Payne came on strong during the 2017 season for the eventual national championship-winning Alabama Crimson Tide with 53 tackles, a sack and an interception for Nick Saban and company while helping the team dominate their opponents in the trenches.

Now paired with his college teammate Jonathan Allen, who the Redskins drafted in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, Jon Gruden and company are obviously hoping to recreate that Tide front-seven attacks in the nation’s capital, but will with work in a division now loaded with running backs like Barkley, Elliott and Jay Ajayi?

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Though he’s not the immovable force that the 350 pound Vea will be for the Buccaneers, the Redskins still added a solid piece to their defensive line, even if they still need to find a true nose tackle later in the draft. Though Payne will probably be a day one starter for Washington, this pick feels like a slight reach by a team drafting for need.

Grade: B-