2024 NFL Draft Profile: Payton Wilson, LB, N.C. State


The 2024 NFL offseason is here and that means it’s time for mock drafts, draft profiles and everything that goes with them. So without further ado, here’s one of many Draft Profiles for the 2024 NFL draft.

Payton Wilson, LB, N.C. State

HT: 6’4
WT: 233 lbs


2023 Chuck Bednarik Award

2023 Dick Butkus Award



Wilson has enough speed to chase and run in pursuit. He has the overall athleticism to hold up in space when dropping into coverage.

He can move laterally and chase in pursuit. A tough, violent tackler with a non-stop motor, Wilson also shows good awareness when dropping into coverage.

Made Bruce Feldman’s Freak’s List – ranked #48. He wrote ” The 6-4, 230-pound former North Carolina state champion high school wrestler has vertical-jumped 36 inches, and coaches say he will “easily” run the 40 in the 4.49 to 4.54 range.”

Elite speed and acceleration, covering sideline to sideline with ease and making him a constant threat in space.

Impressive agility and fluidity in coverage, able to read the quarterback and make impactful plays on the ball.

Exceptional tackling ability, combining strong hands and leverage to bring down opponents efficiently.

High football IQ, showcasing instincts that allow him to be a step ahead of plays and disrupt offensive schemes.

Robust work ethic and resilience, overcoming significant injuries to return at peak performance levels.

Versatile skill set, effective in blitz packages and capable of contributing in multiple defensive schemes.

Strong leadership qualities, proven by his ability to inspire and perform under pressure.

Excellent at diagnosing plays, with a knack for being in the right place at the right time.


History of significant injuries (including a major ACL issue), raises concerns about long-term durability and availability.

Leaner frame and below-average length, potentially affecting his ability to shed blocks against larger NFL linemen.

Occasional over-aggressiveness that can lead to missed tackles or overrunning plays.

May need to further develop strength to handle the physicality at the line of scrimmage in the NFL.

As an older rookie, his window for peak performance might be narrower than other prospects.


Wilson is expected to land somewhere in the second to early third round, with the possibility of going higher to a team that values his unique skill set and believes in his ability to remain healthy. Wilson’s journey from a highly touted prospect facing adversity to an NFL draft pick will be a testament to his resilience, making him one of the more intriguing stories of the draft.

Information in this article first appeared on NFL Draft Buzz and is used with permission. Find the latest coverage, analysis, and player rankings for the 2024 NFL Draft at nfldraftbuzz.com


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