Payton Wilson injury history: Did Steelers make huge mistake in drafting risk-prone linebacker?

NFL: Combine
Payton Wilson injury history: Did Steelers make huge mistake in drafting risk-prone linebacker?

Payton Wilson is a Pittsburgh Steeler, with the franchise selecting the NC State product in the third round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

For some, this is a draft-day steal, as Wilson is viewed as having first-round talent. Others, though, believe that the Steelers are making a big mistake picking an injury-prone player in round three.

In this article, we examine both angles and explore whether the Cleveland Browns made a mistake in drafting Peyton Wilson.


Payton Wilson's injury history

Payton Wilson had a long and frustrating injury record during his college football career at North Carolina State. His right knee and shoulders have required injuries at numerous points.

It all began in high school when Wilson tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his final year at high school. That didn't stop NC State from offering a scholarship to play the linebacker position for the program.

Wilson accepted the offer and quickly became a player to watch out for on the program's defense. However, he suffered more injuries while playing for the program, and a narrative was forming around his potential availability at the highest level.

Heading into Draft week, Ian Rapoport reported that Wilson had no ACL in one of his knees. It was further said that the crucial ligament in the middle of the knee was missing due to an injury he sustained early in his career.

Wilson still balled out, winning the Butkus and Bednarik Awards in 2023 despite that. He also had an excellent NFL Combine, blowing scouts away with his speed.


Did the Steelers make a mistake in drafting Payton Wilson?

It's a little early to say, but it's unlikely that the Pittsburgh Steelers made a mistake drafting Peyton Wilson in the third round of the 2024 NFL Draft. Wilson is a phenomenal talent and, if not for injury issues, should have been drafted on day one.

As long as the Steelers use him the right way, it's unlikely that Wilson will suffer injuries as severe as the ones he dealt with in high school and college. Pittsburgh has a fantastic record for drafting late-round talents, and Wilson might be the latest example of their front office's excellence.

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