With the 188th pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans select Payne Durham
Payne Durham is a big dude, standing at 6'6" and weighing 253 pounds. He is a more than capable blocker, though could add some upper body strength but handle the players at the NFL level. The Texans just signed Dalton Schultz to a free agent deal; however, it was only a one-year contract, so no guarantees he returns for the 2024 season.
Adding Payne to the mix gives the Texans someone that can contribute in the blocking game right away and has the potential to grow into a decent pass-catching tight end in the NFL. Schultz would make for a great mentor as well.
Durham ran a 4.87 second 40-time at the combine and while he's not going to stretch defenses downfield, he's got enough speed to make an impact. Next Gen Stats gave him a 64 athleticism rating, 14th best among the tight ends that attended the NFL combine.
One thing that sticks out with Durham is his lack of experience not just as a tight end but in football. He didn't start playing until his senior year of high school, where he was a lacrosse player initially. He made the move to football and was an all-region selection. He would go on to sign with Purdue and continued to improve each year. In his senior year, he recorded 56 receptions for 560 yards and eight touchdowns.