The Buffalo Bills have invested a lot of their offseason resources in researching tight end prospects. That trend continues with Purdue tight end Payne Durham meeting via Zoom with One Bills Drive after already meeting with the team at Purdue ahead of this month’s NFL Draft.
In March, Justin Melo of The Draft Network tweeted that Durham was set to interview with the Bills.
.@BoilerFootball TE Payne Durham had formal interviews with the #Broncos and #Bucs at the Combine, and informals w/ 25+ others. Durham will soon interview with the #Rams, #Bills and #Bears too. Has a workout with the #Cowboys.— Justin M (@JustinM_NFL) March 11, 2023
✍️ @TheDraftNetwork https://t.co/bry979GTVH
Payne Durham, standing 6’6” and weighing 253 pound, towers over a good many football players. In a very deep tight end class, Durham stands out best as a versatile blocker, adept on the move and as a sixth lineman. As a receiver, Durham has the potential to provide his quarterback with a very large safety net between the sticks.
Durham originally played lacrosse in high school, before choosing football. While at Purdue, Durham put up good numbers during his junior and senior seasons with the Boilermakers. His production as a junior earned him honorable mention All-Big Ten Conference honors — with a stat line of 45 receptions for 467 yards with six touchdowns. As a senior, Durham earned second-team all-league honors while posting 56 receptions for 560 yards with eight touchdowns.
While Durham’s size and lack of elite athleticism for the position suggest he’s best suited as an in-line Y blocking tight end in the NFL, his production as a receiver could give teams a reliable target in key down-and-distance situations.
Does he fit the Bills? Payne Durham is a well-rounded prospect — a tenacious blocker who boasts a solid resume as a receiver. Despite the lack of “wow” traits from Durham’s timed tests, he could find himself a long-tenured TE2 in the NFL. Prospects like Durham represent safe bets as depth players, but Durham could bring far more to the table in the right situation. With soft hands and prowess underneath as a big-bodied catcher, Payne Durham could become a great developmental prospect for Buffalo.