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2024 NFL Draft Results: Pittsburgh Steelers select Payton Wilson with 3rd round pick

Entering the 2024 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers had a number of draft needs that they needed to address. Unlike in 2023, the Steelers didn’t possess a full allotment of draft picks, and there were several positions which would be considered a glaring need on their roster.

With seven total picks, the following positions could be viewed as a priority entering the selection process: wide receiver, cornerback, safety and even inside linebacker. Those positions, and more, were positions of need to help the black-and-gold get to the next level in 2024. There have been numerous thoughts and debates regarding what the team will do in Round 3 of the NFL Draft.

When the dust settled, the Steelers selected Payton Wilson out of NC State with their fourth pick in the draft.

For some analysis of this selection, here is information from a scouting report on Wilson, this from

“Wilson’s length and athletic profile could certainly push him up the board for some teams, but his history with injuries could tamp down his draft stock. He’s free-flowing in pursuit and is at his best as a run-and-hit hunter rather than a static defender faced with a downhill blocker. He has the burst to shoot downhill and make a tackle for loss but lacks the demeanor or play strength to consistently leverage run fits. Wilson will find himself near the football frequently when allowed to play freely and avoid the mess in the middle. He has third-down ability as a blitzer and is a talented cover man who can play zone or man coverage. Wilson has early starting potential but scheme fit and medical reports will play a big role in his evaluation.”


  • Long and athletic; a multi-sport star in high school.
  • Showed wide receiver-like speed at the NFL Scouting Combine, posting a 4.43-second 40-yard dash.
  • Rangy to find his way into a high number of tackle opportunities.
  • Adequate football intelligence and blocking-scheme recognition.
  • Has the hands and eyes to dart into passing lanes and take the ball away.
  • Burst and lateral agility create blitzing potential for gaming fronts.


  • Lacks play strength and take-on technique to consistently leverage his gap.
  • Can be too willing to side-step a block rather than play off of it.
  • Plays too upright and gets knocked off balance too frequently.
  • Injury history dating back to high school could be concerning for teams.

What do you think of the pick? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to check out the Breaking News Podcast in the player below with a more detailed look on the draft pick:

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