It’s still extremely early in the draft process, but Payton Wilson appears to be a near lock as a Day 2 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Of course, this is immediately after the Super Bowl and before the NFL Scouting Combine even kicks off, but Wilson is showing up on mock drafts by several draft analysts releasing their first edition of second- or third-round mocks.
The highest thus far has come from Pro Football Focus, who has Wilson listed as the No. 41 overall pick by the Green Bay Packers. Trevor Sikkema believes the Packers will load up on defense with Cooper DeJean at No. 25 overall in the first round then take Wilson in the second round. It would reunite two players who were nominated for the Bronko Nagurski Award, the only national trophy Wilson was nominated for and didn’t win after his unbelievable final season.
Wilson remained in the second round of the first two-round mock draft by Blake Brockermeyer of 247Sports, as well. Brockermeyer has Wilson landing with the Dolphins and playing off the edge of Miami’s defense alongside Bradley Chubb, but also mentioned why he’s not considered a first-round pick after a stellar career in Raleigh.
55. MIAMI DOLPHINS: PAYTON WILSON, LB, NC STATE
The Dolphins need an upgrade in the middle of their defense, and Payton Wilson is a dynamic freak athlete with incredible speed. He does everything well. Wilson plays the game the right way and is a high-volume playmaker when healthy. Injury concerns throughout his college career could make some front offices hesitate to draft the NC State product.
That injury history has been the lone reason for Wilson not being considered the top overall linebacker in this year’s class. With a great frame at 6-foot-4, 237 pounds, incredible instincts and the ability to be all over the field, Wilson would be an absolute steal in the second round if he’s able to stay healthy like he did in his final two years with NC State.
The only other multiple-round mock draft that had Wilson listed was from Chad Reuter of NFL.com. Reuter put Wilson in the third round, going to the Philadelphia Eagles with the No. 78 overall pick. While that’s a possibility, Wilson could solidify himself as a Top-60 pick and land himself in at least the second round with a solid performance in the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine.
That’s the next step for Wilson, who will be joined by former Wolfpack long snapper Joe Shimko at the combine when it starts on Feb. 26 in Indianapolis.
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