Payton Wilson NFL Draft Profile


Payton Wilson Scouting Report


2024 NFL Draft Measurements

6’4″ 252 lbs.

Payton Wilson 40 time: 4.55 (estimate)


Payton Wilson, a standout linebacker hailing from Orange High School, entered college football as a highly-touted 4-star recruit, earning accolades from both ESPN and 247 Sports. His journey continued at North Carolina State, where he showcased a dynamic skill set over his collegiate career.


Versatile Playmaking Ability

Wilson’s freshman year in 2019 saw him make an immediate impact, featuring in 11 games and recording 366 snaps at linebacker. His versatility shone through with 49 tackles, 13 assists, and 30 stops. In coverage, Wilson displayed exceptional skills, notching up 3 pass breakups, one interception, and an impressive QB rating when targeted of 48.7. This early success set the tone for his college career.

Sideline-to-Sideline Range

Wilson’s sophomore season in 2020 highlighted his impressive range, participating in 10 games with 689 snaps. Recording 74 tackles, 25 assists, and 45 stops, he showcased his ability to cover significant ground. In coverage, Wilson contributed with a pass breakup, 2 interceptions, and a QB rating when targeted of 62.0. His effectiveness extended to the pass rush, tallying 20 total pressures, including 12 QB hurries, 4 QB hits, and 4 sacks.

Adaptability and Recognition

Despite a shortened junior season in 2021, Wilson’s adaptability and recognition skills remained evident. Playing in just 2 games, he demonstrated his tackling prowess with 2 tackles, one assist, and 3 stops. His coverage skills were solid, with no pass breakups and a QB rating when targeted of 86.1.

Leadership and Recognition

Wilson’s senior year in 2022 and fifth year in 2023 showcased his leadership on and off the field. In 2022, he logged 561 snaps, contributing 42 tackles, 16 assists, and 27 stops. His coverage skills continued to evolve with 3 pass breakups, one interception, and a QB rating when targeted of 108.1. The following year, as a fifth-year senior, Wilson excelled with 92 tackles, 31 assists, and an impressive 67 stops. His coverage skills reached new heights with 3 pass breakups, 3 interceptions, and an outstanding QB rating when targeted of 47.2.

Honors and Awards

Wilson’s exemplary performances earned him prestigious accolades in 2023, winning the Chuck Bednarik Award and the Dick Butkus Award, solidifying his status as one of the premier linebackers in college football.


Struggles to Anchor

While effective when uncovered inside and chasing plays to the sideline, Wilson lacks the pop and strength to anchor effectively, presenting challenges against more physical opponents.

Scheme-Dependent Pass Rush

As a pass rusher, Wilson relies on schemes creating deception and confusion to provide him with a free run. Developing a wider variety of pass-rushing moves will be crucial for consistent effectiveness.

Final Thoughts on Payton Wilson Scouting Report

In conclusion, Payton Wilson’s collegiate journey at North Carolina State is marked by versatility, leadership, and outstanding playmaking abilities. While his strengths shine through as a complete linebacker, his weaknesses, including the need to refine pass-rushing techniques, and anchoring are areas for improvement. Wilson enters the 2024 NFL Draft as a highly regarded prospect, and with continued development, he has the potential to become a dynamic force in a professional defensive unit.

Payton Wilson NFL Comparison

He reminds of me of New Orleans Saint Demario Davis.

Payton Wilson Draft Stock

Payton Wilson looks to be an early to mid-fourth-round pick at this point. He ranks number 95 on Mock Draft Database. I expect him to be taken near Jacob Cowing.  I’m here to tell you that he’s dangerously underrated. I would look at taking him in the late first to early second round. He’s a great sleeper in the 2024 NFL Draft.