For the second consecutive year, the Redskins selected an Alabama defensive lineman in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Their decision bolstered a young and growing defensive line, and as of Tuesday earned more validation.
Defensive lineman Daron Payne was named to the Pro Football Writers of America 2018 All-Rookie Team.
Payne joins Detroit's Da'Shawn Hand, Denver's Bradley Chubb and New Orleans' Marcus Davenport as the three rookie defensive linemen to make the team.
Payne had a strong rookie season, making 56 tackles, five sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Of the defense's 1,033 snaps, Payne played 796, a testament to his durability and athleticism playing on multiple downs consecutively.
"I love playing football," Payne said during the season. "So, I have fun every day I come to work."
His presence was felt throughout the year, and some of his best games came in primetime, sacking quarterback Drew Brees and forcing a fumble on Monday night, while taking down Dak Prescott on Thanksgiving.
At 6-foot-2, 319 pounds, he impressed his former teammate Jonathan Allen thoroughly.
"Just his versatility. His ability to rush the passer, play the run and do it all on a consistent basis for 60 minutes," Allen said. "Just when you're that big and that strong and that fast, I mean, just makes it better. Really no secret to it to be honest."
Here's the entire PFWA All-Rookie team:
QB – Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
RB – Saquon Barkley, New York Giants; Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos
WR – Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons; DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers
TE – Chris Herndon, New York Jets
C – Billy Price, Cincinnati Bengals
G – Will Hernandez, New York Giants; Quenton Nelson, Indianapolis Colts
T – Mike McGlinchey, San Francisco 49ers; Braden Smith, Indianapolis Colts
DL – Bradley Chubb, Denver Broncos; Marcus Davenport, New Orleans Saints; Da'Shawn Hand, Detroit Lions; Daron Payne, Washington Redskins
LB – Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts; Roquan Smith, Chicago Bears; Leighton Vander Esch, Dallas Cowboys
CB – Jaire Alexander, Green Bay Packers, Denzel Ward, Cleveland Browns
S – Jessie Bates, Cincinnati Bengals; Derwin James, Los Angeles Chargers
PK – Jason Sanders, Miami Dolphins
P – Michael Dickson, Seattle Seahawks
KR – Tremon Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
PR – Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals
ST – Zeke Turner, Arizona Cardinals