Former Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner will call Indianapolis, Ind. home for the foreseeable future. Claimed with the 24th overall pick in Thursday's opening round of the NFL Draft, the defensive lineman was selected by the Indianapolis Colts.
He became the highest drafted former Seminoles defensive end since Kamerion Wimbley was taken by the Cleveland Browns in 2006. In 2009, Everette Brown was claimed by the Carolina Panthers early in the second round. He was the only FSU player drafted that year.
Werner was FSU's second selection in the draft, getting picked up eight selections after quarterback EJ Manuel went 16th overall to the Buffalo Bills. Moments after Werner was drafted, former FSU cornerback Xavier Rhodes was taken with the 25th overall pick. Rhodes is headed to Minnesota with former FSU quarterback Christian Ponder.
Here's what the NFL Network had to say about Werner in this pre-draft nfl.com blurb about him:
Flexible athlete with the natural bend to dip and contort his body to get under or around blocks. Shows excellent snap anticipation and fires out of his stance. Projects as a strong-side 4-3 end who can play the run well and get pressure on the quarterback. Possesses good quickness off the snap for his size and flashes some shimmy to get the inside lane. Finds the ball well and uses active hands to rip past tackles after initial contact. Brings power to his punch, can bull his man towards the quarterback with leverage. Swallows running backs after shedding his man in the run game, has athleticism to make tackles in space. Stacks and sheds well, sets the edge and works off blocks to make stops in the run game. Times jumps well to knock down passes if unable to get to the quarterback, also looks comfortable making plays in coverage (18 career passes defended).
Lacks elite length for the position and doesnt have the natural start/stop explosion of some pass rushers. Pops straight up out of his stance at times, losing strength at the point of attack, and is inconsistent turning the corner as a pass rusher. Usually looks for misdirection when unblocked but loses contain when getting caught up in pulling guards instead of keeping outside leverage. Motor tends to run hot/cold at times, especially late in games or if the play isnt to his side of the field. Needs to consistently finish when he gets his hands on the ball carrier. Has a history of several minor injuries, including a left hand issue that bothered him this past season.
Born and raised in Berlin, Germany, Werner enjoyed American football growing up and joined a club team before moving to the United States as a high school exchange student, playing two seasons and emerging as a top recruit. He has developed his football knowledge and technique substantially the past five years, flashing a top football IQ and instincts. Werner has the frame and athleticism to win with flashes of speed or power, although he needs to improve his motor for all four quarters. He has proven to be much more than just a pass rusher, showing much better awareness against the run and at the line of scrimmage to swat passes down a possible top-five overall draft choice with the potential to be an impact starting strong-side DE in a four-man front.