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2024 Dallas Cowboys Draft Guide | Defensive Tackles

2024 Dallas Cowboys Draft Guide | Defensive Tackles

LB: Payton Wilson | NC State

  • Height: 6-4
  • Weight: 233
  • School: NC State
  • Class: Senior
Table inside Article
Wilson could easily make the case as the most athletic linebacker in the class with his position-leading 4.43 time in the 40-yard dash at the combine. That athleticism translates on the field with his ability to fly from sideline-to-sideline to make plays. The biggest question around Wilson will be if his body can hold up at the NFL level after having already undergone two major knee surgeries as well as a shoulder surgery during his high school and college careers. On the field, his athletic style sometimes sees him overcommit.

OVERVIEW: The Dick Butkus Award winner in 2023 as the nation's top collegiate linebacker, Wilson overcame a complicated injury history to become one of the draft's top available talents in the second level. While his athleticism jumps off the board compared to the rest of the draft class at the position, his play strength also shows up from his time as a wrestler in high school where he won a North Carolina state championship. While there is a high risk with his injury history, the high reward has perennial All-Pro upside.

COMPARISON: Isaiah Simmons