2023 NFL Draft: Top 10 Tight Ends and their fits with the Atlanta Falcons
No. 9: Payne Durham, Purdue
2022: 13 Games Played, 56 Catches, 560 Yards, 8 Touchdowns, 1 Carry, 4 Yards
2021: 12 Games Played, 45 Catches, 467 Yards, 6 Touchdowns, 1 Tackle
2020: 6 Games Played, 16 Catches, 166 Yards, 3 Touchdowns
2019: 12 Games Played, 9 Catches, 82 Yards, 4 Touchdowns
2018: 2 Games Played, Redshirted after 2 games
Payne Durham has a ton of size and wingspan to be a great red zone target. He understands how to find soft spots in zone defenses, but he doesn't have the speed or agility to really attack the deep and intermediate seams that most tight ends today can target. He has great run-after-catch ability in the way a freight train can attack an animal sitting on the tracks; Durham just plows right through. His blocking is solid, but unless Durham gets his game refined, he's going to be a pure blocker in the NFL.
The Falcons shouldn't really be considering Durham in this draft, but if they do, he's going to be a fifth-or-later round pick that should be a reserve and blocker in Atlanta. He's essentially the same kind of guy that Parker Hesse is at a lower salary, and that could be worth it for the four-year contract that a sixth-round pick would be.