Commanders DT Daron Payne should be a free agent priority for Raiders

In a recent article by Pro Football Focus, they ranked the top 50 free agents entering the offseason. That list included Daron Payne, a defensive tackle for the Washington Commanders.

Payne is one of the best defensive tackles in the league and excels at stopping the run. But he’s really improved as a pass rusher over the last few seasons, making him a problem for most offensive lines.

Here is what Pro Football Focus had to say about the former first-round pick from Alabama and why he would be a great fit on any interior defensive line:

“Payne showed early in his NFL career that he could be a stout run defender from the nose tackle position, with his 86 defensive stops against the run the most in the NFL from 2018-20.

And he has now continued to build on his pass-rush arsenal to the point where he’s a problem for interior offensive linemen trying to keep their quarterback upright.

Payne has 95 quarterback pressures since the start of 2021, 10th most among interior defenders, with his 11.8% pass-rush win rate over the same span a very respectable figure on the inside.”

The Raiders really need an inside presence on their defensive line and Payne could help anchor that unit. If the Raiders want to make a major improvement to their defensive line, adding a player like Payne would be a smart move.

Look for Payne to be one of the most coveted free-agent defenders once the new league year starts.

Story originally appeared on Raiders Wire