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CU Buffs’ Carson Wells flashes speed at pro day

Six former Buffaloes work out for NFL scouts

DENVER, CO - Sept. 11, 2021: ...
University of Colorado Boulder’s Carson Wells is held while trying to get to Texas A&M’s Zach Calzada during the September 11, 2021 game at Empower Field in Denver. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

As an outside linebacker/edge rusher, Carson Wells knows the value of speed.

When he came to Colorado for a camp as a high school player, he won the fastest man competition. During his five years with the Buffaloes, he used his speed to rack up 15.5 sacks and 38 tackles for loss.

On Wednesday, Wells flashed his speed during CU’s annual pro day. The 6-foot-2, 241-pounder ran the 40-yard sprint in 4.56 seconds.

“At the end of the day, 40 is the money maker,” he said. “I feel like I came in and killed that, so I feel like overall I had a good day.”

Wells was one of six former Buffs and 10 players overall to work out for the 22 scouts representing 20 NFL teams.

Defensive lineman Mustafa Johnson, offensive lineman Kary Kutsch, inside linebacker Nate Landman and tight end Matt Lynch also worked out, as did linebacker Akil Jones, who played five years at CU before transferring to Incarnate Word last season.

Northern Colorado’s Xander Gagnon, Komotay Koffie and Tru Wilson, along with Ikenna Onwuasoanya of CSU-Pueblo, also worked out for scouts.

Wells was one of the most dominant edge players in the Pac-12 the past two seasons and he’s had a good offseason so far. In addition to pro day, he played well during the East-West Shrine game in January.

On Wednesday, Wells had just 16 reps on the 225-pound bench press, but made up for it with his speed and vertical leap (35 inches).

“Just an underrated player that’s going to make someone really happy,” Landman said of his Buffs’ teammate. “I think he made himself some money today.”

Wells believes his production while at CU speaks for itself, but hopes he has proven himself this offseason. Throughout the process, he’s had interviews with several teams as he hopes to be selected during the NFL Draft, April 28-30.

“I came in and already knew I would be a late-round draft pick anyways, and I’ve done everything I feel like I could,” he said. “I had a good week at the East-West game. I feel like I put up better numbers across the board than people thought I would. … Interviews, too. Once they get to sit down and talk to you and get to know you, I feel like it’s hard to find a better guy than me. I mean, my mom would agree with that.”

Wells was not at the NFL Combine earlier this month, but only six of the 20 edge rushers at the combine ran faster than Wells did Wednesday. He hopes the body of work has put him in position for the draft.

“I just let what happens on the field speak for me,” he said. “I feel like I have my resume and I feel like I put in the work that last five years. … It’s out of my hands now. It’s in God’s hands.”

Landman was the lone CU player at the NFL Combine and it didn’t go as well as he hoped. He pulled a hamstring during his 40, clocking in at 4.86 seconds.

Landman didn’t run Wednesday, but had 20 reps on the bench press and the best times among the CU players in the 20-yard shuttle (4.32 seconds) and three-cone drill (6.88). He also looked good in position drills.

“I thought it was a step up (from the combine),” Landman said. “Having the combine in my belt and being able to do what I did there, I thought I jumped great at the combine. I wish I was healthy for that 40 and I gave a better time, but it is what it is; it’s in the past. I thought I came out here and improved on what I needed to and it showed scouts what they needed to see from me in the position drills and the short shuttles.”

Landman, who has recovered from the shoulder injury that sidelined him for the final five games of 2021, also did some long snapping Wednesday.

“I’ve long snapped in high school and I did it the first couple years here,” he said. “Just wanted to showcase that talent to some scouts and they loved it. It’s an extra skill. In the league, the more you can do, the more you can help out the team.”

Johnson went through pro day last year, but was undrafted and unsigned. He was able to return to CU for the 2021 season and is going through the draft process again.

A 6-foot, 288-pound defensive lineman, Johnson was not planning to bench Wednesday and had not trained for it, but then was told he needed to do it. With just a couple minutes notice, he posted an impressive 29 reps — two more than he had last year.

“I remembered my form, did everything I know I’m supposed to do and maybe the adrenaline rush of them putting me on the spot made it better,” he said.

In addition to his bench press, Johnson measured eight pounds heavier than last year’s pro day — which is a good thing since he’s considered undersized.

Kutsch, measured at 6-4, 297 pounds, posted 29 reps on the bench and performed well in other areas as he hopes to make an impression as a guard or center.

“I feel pretty good about it,” he said of his day. “I just saw the numbers and I’m pretty happy with most of them.

“As long as I get any type of camp invite, I’ll be happy and just make the most of that.”