Payne, drafted No. 13 overall out of Alabama, was among seven draft picks signed by Washington on Thursday that included running back Derrius Guice, the team's second-round selection.
The four-year deal for Payne is worth $14.54 million, including a signing bonus of $8.65 million. Payne is the Redskins' second straight first-round pick out of Alabama, joining fellow defensive lineman Jonathan Allen.
Payne used the bigger stage of the College Football Playoff to make himself more of a household name when he intercepted a pass and caught a touchdown pass in the semifinal win over Clemson. Payne was the defensive MVP of the Sugar Bowl and the national title game.
The 5-foot-10, 224-pound Guice was projected to go in the first round but dropped to the Redskins at No. 59. He rushed for 26 touchdowns in his last two seasons at LSU, amassing 1,387 yards on the ground in 2016 and 1,251 last season.
Washington also signed defensive back Troy Apke (fourth round), defensive lineman Tim Settle (fifth round), linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton (sixth) and a pair of seventh-rounders in defensive back Greg Stroman and wide receiver Trey Quinn.