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    Payne Durham, TE, Purdue | NFL Draft Scouting Report

    As we inch toward the 2023 NFL Draft, let's take a look at Purdue TE Payne Durham's scouting report.

    Our rookie scouting reports combine film and analytics to provide the best possible predictions for player performance. With the 2023 NFL Draft less than a month away, let’s take a look at the scouting report for Purdue TE Payne Durham.

    Payne Durham NFL Draft Profile

    • Position: Tight End
    • School: Purdue
    • Year: Senior

    Durham’s path to the NFL has been quite unconventional. In high school, his sport of choice was lacrosse. He didn’t even play football until his senior year. Yet, he was still a three-star recruit out of Peachtree Ridge High School in Suwanee, Georgia.

    Despite his incredibly limited experience, Durham managed to earn a spot at a prominent Power Five school in Purdue.

    Unsurprisingly, it took Durham a little while to get going. After all, he still had a lot to learn about the position.

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    Across his first two collegiate seasons, Durham caught just 25 passes for 248 yards and seven touchdowns.

    By his junior year, Durham emerged into a more prominent piece of the Boilermakers’ offense. He caught 45 passes for 467 yards and six touchdowns. As a senior, he upped his game again, catching 56 passes for 560 yards and eight touchdowns.

    Overall, Durham caught 126 balls for 1,275 yards and 21 touchdowns during his four years at Purdue.

    Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report for Payne Durham

    Strengths: Massive tight end with a three-down game, who has shown continued progress on the field. Stays square as a blocker, plays with strength, and seals defenders from the action. Adjusts to the errant throw, uses his large frame to protect the pass, and takes a pounding, but holds onto the ball.

    Consistently settles into the open spot of the defense, extends his hands, and makes the difficult reception with defenders draped on him. Fights to pick up yardage after the catch and carries defenders on his back. Reliable, possesses soft hands, and looks the ball into his hands.

    Weaknesses: Lacks quickness and speed. Rumbles around the field. Not a downfield threat.

    Overall: Durham was consistent and reliable as both a pass catcher and a blocker for Purdue. He’s not a downfield threat, yet the completeness of his game makes him perfect to be a second or third tight end on a roster.

    Payne Durham Combine Measurements and Results

    • Height: 6’5 5/8″
    • Weight: 253
    • Wingspan: 80 3/8″
    • Arm Length: 33 3/8″
    • Hand Size: 9 3/4″
    • 40-Yard Dash: 4.87
    • Vertical: 34 1/2″
    • Broad: 9’9″

    Purdue TE Payne Durham Current Draft Projection

    On Tony Pauline’s latest Big Board, Durham ranked 172nd overall and is projected to be drafted in the fifth round. With a 3.40 grade, he is Pauline’s TE12 in this class.

    Durham was decently dominant at college. He commanded a target share over 14% in each of his final two seasons.

    At the same time, he’s not particularly fast, with a 35th percentile speed score. Given his size at 6’6″, 253 pounds, he could emerge into an end-zone presence after acclimating to the NFL game. However, his best attribute is his blocking ability. It is his blocking that will determine whether he is able to make an NFL roster and carve out a meaningful role.

    MORE: When Is the 2023 NFL Draft?

    As with any Day 3 pick, Durham is more likely to fizzle out than not. Fortunately, blocking goes a long way. He’s also competent as a receiver and still has plenty he can learn.

    Seldom do we see Day 3 picks go on to be superstars. However, we’ve seen plenty of Day 3 picks go on to have solid careers. Payne would do well to add his name to that list. But superstardom is not likely in the cards for him.

    Payne profiles as solid roster depth for the right team. He should be able to hang around as a TE2/3. In a best-case scenario, Payne could emerge as a team’s starting tight end. But that would involve a whole lot of growth and be several years away.

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