— Good quickness. Works two-way-go situations effectively.
— Above-average flexibility. Does well to turn and reduce his surface to avoid getting hit by OL.
— Decent change of direction in space.
— Plays with quick, crafty hands. Helps keep OL's hands off of him.
— Thin frame. Looks and plays lighter than listed.
— Does not play with good length. Prone to allowing OL to strike him first and take over the rep.
— Burst off the snap is average, at best.
— Overall play strength is a concern, both upper- and lower-body.
12 G, 51 TOT, 13.5 TFL, 5.5 SK, 1 INT, 1 FF, 1 TD
— 3-star recruit in 2017.
— Three-and-a-half-year starter.
— 2020 and 2021 honorable mention All-Pac 12.
Carson Wells is a thin and quick pass-rusher who will need to muster better play strength to hang at the NFL level.
Wells wins primarily through his quickness and ability to make himself difficult to get hands on. While Wells may not spring out of his stance with much juice, he is quick as a blink after that.
Wells operates well when given a ton of space in which he can take advantage of his short-area quickness. Additionally, Wells tends to do a good job of turning his torso and making himself tough for offensive linemen to strike cleanly. His bend around the corner is nothing special, but it tends to get the job done if he succeeds at minimizing the offensive lineman's punch.
Size and play strength will be a problem for Wells out of the gate, though. Wells' listed height and weight seems fine, but he looks and plays thinner on film. Whenever offensive linemen do strike him clean, Wells tends to lose the rep straight away. On pass-rushing reps, he gets locked up. On run defense downs, he is prone to getting moved off of his spot. Wells does not have the upper-body strength to punch and control blockers, nor does he have the lower-body strength to maintain his balance particularly well in all situations.
Wells would be best in a system that allows him to stand up on the edge and operate with more space. He needs to be able to use his mobility and flexibility. That said, Wells' mediocre get-off and underwhelming play strength limit his usage as well as his potential to become a full-time starter. Wells could be a special teams ace and feisty pass-rush-only player deep in the rotation.
GRADE: 5.8 (Backup/Draftable - 6th/7th Round)
OVERALL RANK: 257
POSITION RANK: LB24
PRO COMPARISON: Dadi Nicolas
Written by B/R NFL Scout Derrik Klassen