Payton Wilson NFL Draft

Payton Wilson

  • LB NC State
  • Junior
  • #275
  • 6'4"
  • 235lbs
  • Prospect
  • Atlantic Coast

Prospect Summary

Payton Wilson 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report


  • Missed spring of 2021 after having surgery on both shoulders. He then injured his shoulder in the second game of the season and missed the remainder of the season. Missed spring work in 2018 due to a knee injury from high school. Had a second knee injury in the summer of 2018 and underwent surgery. 
  • Played lacrosse in addition to football in high school. Was also a state champion wrestler. 
  • His brother, Bryse, is a pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. 


  • Scheme tendencies: Odd front
  • 2022 projected role: Starting OLB

Pros: Payton Wilson features a long and athletic frame that is engineered well to play off-ball linebacker in the NFL. He times up blitzes when shooting interior gaps well and is urgent in pursuit. His motor always runs hot and he flies around the field. Wilson appears to be a good tackler in terms of technique; he aims low, wraps up, and brings his feet. He is a respected leader on the team with impressive competitive toughness. 

Cons: Unfortunately, Payton Wilson’s injury history is alarming and availability is a notable concern. While he hustles on every snap, his range is modest and he projects poorly to playing in space in the NFL. He can handle shallow coverage drops but he’s unlikely to be a true matchup defender in man coverage. Wilson is only an average processor that doesn’t quickly read his keys and trigger—his best moments have come when he’s able to shoot gaps and make plays near the line of scrimmage. I would like to see him activate his hands quicker when taking on blocks and playing through contact. There are too many instances of him taking on blocks with a shoulder and not engaging his hands. Overall, his block deconstruction skills are below average despite having the frame and length necessary to excel. Does he have the range to play WILL and does he have the instincts and take-on ability to play SAM or MIKE? Can he stay healthy?

Payton Wilson NFL Draft Scouting Report by Joe Marino