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NFL Draft INSIGHT: What could tight end Payne Durham bring to the Browns offense?

Round 4 of the NFL draft: Are the Browns satisfied with their tight end group?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 08 Purdue at Maryland Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Word is, the Cleveland Browns are not satisfied with the development of TE Harrison Bryant, the former Mackey Award winner.

The 2022 season was set up to become his “coming out year.” He is a very good blocker but only had 31 receptions for 239 yards. His three-year total is just 710 yards with seven touchdowns. That ain’t cutting it.

Bryant does have great hands and will run solid routes; although he is not going to fool anyone as to which way he is headed. Elusive he is not. He lacks explosiveness and for whatever reason just doesn’t get that many targets (42). Plus, he lacks the ability to get good leverage on his opponent which at times allows his guy to get involved in the play instead of being shielded completely out.

What all this means, is that the Browns should be shopping around for another tight end. GM Andrew Berry inked Jordan Akins from the Houston Texans in free agency. Another good blocking tight end, Akins was QB Deshaun Watson’s tight end while the two were teammates in Houston.

This draft is deep in tight end talent. In the fourth round, Payne Durham should be available. He had a great week of practice at this year’s Reese’s Senior Bowl.

TE Payne Durham

Draft projection: Round 4

Browns pick: #114 (their first pick in Round 4)


College: Purdue Boilermakers

Height: 6’-6”

Weight: 253 pounds

40-time: 4.87

Career Receptions: 126

Career Yards: 1,275

Career Touchdowns: 21

Career starts: 36


  • Will cause smaller linebackers problems
  • Able to break through tackles
  • Tough guy being a former Lacrosse player
  • Wide catch radius
  • Great hands
  • Will make adjustments as the play unfolds
  • Very good move blocker and in-line blocker
  • Exceptional catch point
  • Three-year starter
  • 2022 Second Team All-Big 10
  • Impressive at the Senior Bowl


  • Refine his technique
  • At times will be smothered with man coverage
  • Needs better drive with run blocking
  • Rotational player at first, will need some grooming
  • Needs more upper body girth

Expert Draft Site Analysis

Good blocker in the run and passing game due to his strength and physicality, while also being a sure-handed, big reliable pass catcher. If coached up on his technique, he could be of good use to a run-heavy NFL team. As a pass catcher, he is unable to create separation against Man Coverage due to a slow release, lack of COD, marginal footwork, sub-par route creativity, and no sinkage of hips at the top of routes. He makes up for the lack of separation by being a sure-handed target. Demonstrates good hands while catching naturally and not fighting it. Attains a good catch radius while also being able to adjust to high/low balls. Displays the ability to fight through contact with strong hands to make contested catches. Good RAC due to good field awareness and fighting for extra yards.