2024 Atlanta Falcons mock draft: What it would look like with a trade-up for a Quarterback

In this one, two trades help the Falcons fill out the roster.

UCLA v USC / Ryan Kang/GettyImages
7 of 11

Fourth Round (No. 109 overall): LB Payton Wilson, NC State

The Atlanta Falcons go with a best player available thought process in their drafting. One of the things that was exposed in the 2023 season was a lack of linebacker depth. The Falcons got lucky that Nate Landman was a fantastic linebacker when Troy Andersen went down for the year with a torn pectoral and should have Landman, Andersen, and Kaden Elliss all under contract for the next two seasons easily. However, the Falcons should look to add someone to the group that would add another element of coverage on top of improving the depth of the group.

Payton Wilson was a fantastic linebacker for the Wolfpack and has shown that he can do it all. He's got fantastic size for an inside linebacker at 6-foot-4, 238 pounds, and has a ton of room to grow into his frame. The Falcons will love how he can drop into coverage and improve that aspect of the unit while also being a natural at shutting down the runs that come his way. He's also a natural blitzer who can use his hands and allow the Falcons to use some 3-3-5 looks with him, Elliss, and Andersen on the field in nickel that would be able to put pressure on quarterbacks while not sacrificing coverage.

The only downside to Wilson is the same reason why the Falcons need to draft him. His injury history is extensive. From high school and his redshirt freshman season in college, he had knee injuries. As a junior in 2021, he missed spring practice due to shoulder injuries and the fall season because of re-aggravating the shoulder injury. The Falcons would be best to use him on a snap count and work his way into the pro game. He may never be an every-game linebacker because of injuries, but when he's there, he should be an impact guy.