Former Virginia Tech football defensive lineman made Top 30 visit with NFL team

Former Virginia Tech defensive lineman Pheldarius Payne reportedly had a Top 30 meeting with the New York Giants ahead of next week's NFL Draft in Detroit.
NC State v Virginia Tech
NC State v Virginia Tech / Ryan Hunt/GettyImages

The 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit is just one week away. The three-day event begins on April 25 with all eyes on which teams draft which players ahead of the 2024 season.

A lot of pre-draft chatter has revolved around the big names, however, one player who has seen his stock rise over the last month is former Virginia Tech defensive lineman Pheldarius Payne. He had a great Pro-Day at Virginia Tech in March and was projected to be a late round pick, but he could be selected a little higher than originally thought.

"Payne’s Pro Day was also an eye-opener for teams, as he flew in the 40-yard dash at 286 pounds, clocking in at 4.85 — a time that would have ranked second among all NFL Combine participants in his positional group. His 1.65 10-yard split, a threshold that showcases a player’s initial explosiveness off the line, also would have ranked second only to LSU’s Mekhi Wingo in Indianapolis.

Combining athleticism and the knack for making plays as a football player is something NFL evaluators drool over. While not all athletes are good football players, teams in need of a defensive presence with twitch coiled up in a nearly 300-pound frame could find Payne to their liking as the draft winds down and boards begin to thin."

Ryan Fowler

Pheldarius Payne had a Top-30 visit with the New York Giants

Payne this week reportedly had a top-30 visit with the New York Giants. Payne had a good season in 2023 for the Hokies with 31 tackles, 10 solo, and 10 tackles for a loss. It was a pretty impressive rebound for him after missing the 2022 campaign with a torn Achilles.

Clearly Payne is a riser in the upcoming draft and it wouldn't be surprising to hear his name called at the end of the Day 2 on April 26 or at some point on Day 3 on April 27. Here's hoping his name is called as he deserves it.