Should Baltimore Ravens draft Payne Durham?

Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times / USA TODAY

The Baltimore Ravens are known for having a group of talented tight ends, and they acquire them in the middle rounds of the NFL draft. They will at least have eyes on Purdue tight end Payne Durham to see if he is a fit. What does Payne Durham bring to the NFL, and would he fit with the Baltimore Ravens?

Baltimore Ravens Payne Durham draft profile

Payne Durham is a four-year player for the Boilermakers. He was worked in early into his career, and by the end of his sophomore year, he was in the starting lineup. He continued to progress as a pass-catching option, going from 467 yards in 2021 to 560 yards in 2022. He also went from lining up in the slot and out wide 33% of the time to 43% of the time, as he became more versatile.

Payne Durham was one of the top performers at the Senior Bowl and participated in the NFL combine. You can see his athletic profile below.

He is above average in most areas, especially size which is important for tight ends. His 40-yard dash shows slow long speed, but the 10-yard split shows that he can get off of the football and work with some short area speed.

Payne Durham NFL Projection

Payne Durham would probably be best in the NFL as a complementary tight end. He has plenty of experience with his hand in the dirt, and he is a trusted blocker. His best traits may be his ability to pull and block at the second level, and seal off edges by flipping his hips.

He is a formidable blocker in that he can hold his own, and can locate and make blocks on the move, but he is not an overpowering blocker, and there will be questions against stronger, and heavier edge rushers in the NFL.

As a pass catcher, an easy word to describe him would be reliable. His drop rate consistently went down every year, and he continued to not only make consistent catches but also was making tough catches in traffic.

As an athlete, he would probably be described as an average player amongst tight ends. He is not going to threaten the seams unless he is catching a contested catch over a defender who is right on his hip.

He is not the most shifty route runner, and most of his usage comes with sitting in soft spots and hauling in the quick passes. His target depth was 6.4 in 2021, and 7.2 in 2022. He was creating after the catch due to quick passes at the line but does not often break tackles or create in a dynamic nature.

NFL Comparison for Payne Durham

A similar profile from a size and athletic perspective may also be an NFL comparison that works for Payne Durham. Payne Durham is compared to Jonn Carlson below.

Carlson was drafted in the second round, and Durham will not go that high. However, the outcome to the career of Fasano may be an expected outcome for Payne Durham. John Carlson was a trusted second tight end for a variety of Seahawks. He was a complementary weapon and had a solid career. Carlson retired at age 30 to save his body and spend more time with his family, but he was in line to play for 10 years or longer.

He was never a plus level starter, but he was trusted and had a long career. That is how Payne Durham could be viewed.

Does Payne Durham fit the Baltimore Ravens?

Because the Baltimore Ravens will always look to draft tight end you have to think that they will see if Durham is worth a pick. However, their lack of picks, and drafting Isaiah Likely and Charlie Kolar last year will probably hurt his chances.

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If Durham came out the same year as Kolar they may go around the same time. Durham is a bit of a better blocker, and better pass catcher, but Kolar is a bit more athletic and can get down the field more. If he came in, it would be as a fourth tight end, but a lot of teams will value him higher as their number two or three guy.