Name: John Payne Jr
College: Eastern Oregon
Q: If you could describe your style of play in 3 words, what would they be?
John: Violent, Passionate, Smart.
Q: How are you going to train/prepare this offseason in preparation for the draft or other pro opportunities?
John: I am currently in school working towards my Master’s Degree. I train with the defensive coordinator and defensive back coach from Eastern. In the mornings, I focus more on weight training with my defensive coordinator, and the afternoon session with my position coach is all about agility and speed. I also attended the NFL Regional Combine in New Orleans. Although I had fairly good results, I am also able to see what areas I can strengthen.
Q: If you could compare yourself to one current or former NFL player who would it be and why?
John: I would compare myself to Tyrann Mathieu. He is a playmaker, and most of all he is versatile. He has not only played many different positions, but has excelled in every single one. I’d like to compare myself to him because of the defensive scheme that EOU ran this year. It made it so that I was able to experience playing both a corner and a safety.
Q: When you are studying film, what do you focus on or look for?
John: There are three main things I focus on when watching film. First, the situation of the game. Second, the down and distance. These two factors determine what the offense can run. The third thing I look at is the receivers’ alignment, and if they have any tendencies. For example, some receivers have the tendency to give away if it’s a run or pass by how they approach the line and fire off the ball.
Q: What separates you from other players at your position?
John: What separates me is my size. While being a short corner may seem to have its disadvantages on paper, it has proven to be an advantage for me on the field. I have played many teams that seem to think they can use my size to their benefit, and in return I came away with 6 interceptions last season.
Q: What kind of abilities would you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
John: Ever since high school I have been voted ‘Most Inspirational Player’ by my teammates and coaches. I was also voted as one of the four captains for my final season at Eastern, this meant I was a leader not only on the field, but off the field as well. I was the example that my teammates would follow when it came to bringing energy onto the field. Because of this energy, we were able to be a strong and dangerous defense.
Q: What is your final pitch/sell to NFL and other pro league scouts?
John: I love the game of football. You see some players play for the money or for the fame but that’s not what I want to play the game for. I want to play for the special feeling you get when you are about to go to battle with your teammates knowing they have your back and you have theirs no matter what. I will do whatever a team needs me to do whether that is playing corner, safety, or special teams. I’m just asking for an opportunity to show that.