BIOGRAPHY: Four-year starter who began his career at running back, before moving to safety as a junior. All-Conference selection last year, totaling 98/4/3 after posting 87 tackles as a junior.
POSITIVES: Good-sized defensive back whose game is on the rise. Instinctive, diagnoses the play and shows solid ball skills. Quickly breaks to the action with a burst of closing speed, aggressive and gives top effort. Disciplined with assignments and wraps up tackles.
NEGATIVES: Not efficient and takes incorrect angles to the action. Struggles in one-on-one coverage assignments. Average playing speed.
ANALYSIS: A hard-working and physical prospect whose game made major strides last season, Payne nicely fits as either a conventional strong safety or in a secondary that employs a two-deep zone system.