The Cincinnati Bengals spent most of the 2022 NFL draft adding speed and versatility to their defense. They continue adding versatility by signing undrafted free agent linebacker Carson Wells out of Colorado.
The Cincinnati Bengals are signing former Colorado all-conference outside linebacker Carson Wells, a source tells @On3sports— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) May 1, 2022
Here is what NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein had to say in his draft profile for Wells:
“Wells has played as an edge defender but appears to be much better suited for consideration as a 4-3 Sam linebacker as a pro. He has good play strength and excellent eyes with the ability to process and respond to play design like an inside linebacker. He’s slow-twitch, which limits his pursuit range, but he’s been a consistent tackler throughout his career and has used his recognition talent to make more plays than his athletic profile would indicate. Wells doesn’t have the juice or skill teams look for as a rusher so rebranding as backup linebacker with good toughness and a high football IQ makes the most sense.”
It seems that despite playing edge most of his career that a move is coming for Wells. Although, I wouldn’t be so quick to completely rule out him still working at the edge.
Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo loves versatility in his players. He also loves having pieces that can do things that the offense isn’t expecting. He loved dropping Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard out into coverage from the edge position to be an unaccounted defender in coverage. Maybe the goal is to potentially develop Wells into a similar role.
At the very least, Wells will compete for a role on special teams and a spot on the practice squad for the next couple of seasons for a little bit of extra depth in the front seven.