2024 Exclusive Sneak Peek: Payton Wilson

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2024 Exclusive Sneak Peek: Payton Wilson, LB, NC State

Welcome to the Exclusive Sneak Peek: Payton Wilson, a linebacker out of NC State. He is from Hillsborough, NC, and was a 4-star recruit from Orange High School.

Wilson’s collegiate career began in 2019 with NC State. He appeared in 11 games and recorded 36 tackles, 33 assists, 5 tackles for loss, 1 interception and 3 passes defended. He followed that up as a sophomore in 2020 and appeared in 11 games. His production came out to 57 solo tackles, 51 assists, 11.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 1 interception and 1 pass defended.

He appeared in only 2 games in 2021 and recorded minimal production before storming back with an excellent season in 2022. That season he played in 11 games and recorded 38 solo tackles, 44 assists, 12.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 1 interception, and 3 passes defended.

His final season in college saw him appear in 12 games for NC State. He once again put up monster numbers where he recorded 69 solo tackles, 69 assists, 17.5 tackles for loss, 6 sacks, 3 interceptions, 6 passes defended, 1 forced fumble and 2 fumbles recovered. After that season he declared for the 2024 NFL Draft where he put excellent testing numbers at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine.


Payton Wilson

NCAA Statistics

Defense & Fumbles Table
Tackles Def Int Fumbles
Year School Conf Class Pos G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
2019North Carolina StateACCFRLB113633695.00.011616.00300
*2020North Carolina StateACCSOLB11575110811.53.5231.50100
2021North Carolina StateACCSOLB22351.51.0000000
*2022North Carolina StateACCJR1138448212.54.5100.0030000
*2023North Carolina StateACCSRLB12696913817.56.03196.31621001
CareerNorth Carolina State20220040248.015.07385.411321001
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 3/7/2024.

Scouting Reports


  • Has enough speed to track down any opponent.
  • He shows elite closing ability.
  • Is a physical tackler with a high motor.
  • He keeps his feet moving after contact to stay engaged with ball carriers.


  • He needs to bulk up and get stronger to transition to the next level.
  • Needs to be schemed up to be an effective pass rusher.
  • He lacks the strength to play as an anchor.
  • Is not as effective on the outside as a defender.

Pre-Draft Analysis

Expected Draft Capital: Late Round 3

Ideal Landing Spot: Chicago Bears

Payton Wilson NC State
Courtesy of nflmockdraftdatabase.com

Wilson finds himself firmly in the second-tier of rookie linebackers although his stock is rising rapidly after an exceptional performance at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine. He is likely to go on Day 2 of the draft and would be a great fit for a team like the Chicago Bears.

The Bears are in the midst of a rebuild and adding a young linebacker with immense upside could be a great way to kick-start the defensive side of the ball.

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