Bjoern Werner Scouting Report: NFL Outlook for Florida State DE

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Bjoern Werner Scouting Report: NFL Outlook for Florida State DE
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Bjoern Werner

Indianapolis Colts

First Round, 24th Pick

One of the most prolific pass rushers in the country this season, German born Bjoern Wernerdidn't even play football until his junior year of high school, when he moved to Connecticut as an exchange student. A two-year starter at left defensive end for Florida State, Werner will come off the board in the first round to a 4-3 team that needs immediate pass rush help.

Overall Strengths

+ Snap anticipation and first step

+ Excellent at reducing his surface area and dipping shoulder around the corner

+ Closing speed

 

Overall Weaknesses

- Motor runs hot and cold

- Lacks great length or athleticism

- Upright playing style

 

Draft Projection

Top 20

 

Tools ( - )

Height

Weight

Arm Length

40 Time

6’3”

266 pounds

33.28”

4.83

 

 

Werner shows his skill on the edge, giving up only his inside shoulder and leaning into the turn.

Overall, Werner lacks either great length or explosiveness (31" Vertical/111" Broad Jump)  for an edge rusher. He dropped nearly 20 pounds entering his junior season, going from 275 to 255. Playing at a lighter weight allowed Werner’s greatest asset to be highlighted—his excellent snap anticipation. He shows flashes of good upper body strength, but he lacks flexibility and has a tendency to play upright (highlighted by a 7.30 Three-Cone/4.40 Short Shuttle) — negating any speed-to-power rush potential he might have.

Intangibles/Character

Werner is a German exchange student who is relatively new to the game, playing two years of high school football in Connecticut. He has been married since 2010.

Werner lined up in his usual left defensive end spot, ready to unload into his pass rush.

System

Werner predominantly lined up as the left defensive end in Florida State’s 4-3 defense. He was mainly a perimeter edge rusher, however he rarely aligned in very loose alignments and would often kick inside the tight end. Occasionally, FSU will stand him up and let him rush or cover from a two point stance.

Pass Rush (+)

Matt Miller Breaks Down Bjoern Werner

Any team drafting Werner will be doing so for how incredibly productive he was at bringing quarterbacks down while at Florida State (20 sacks in the last two seasons). He anticipates the snap incredibly well and has one of the most explosive first steps in this class.

While he tends to play somewhat upright and can even appear to be inflexible, he’s excellent at dipping his shoulder and skimming around the edge, reducing the target area for the offensive tackle to attack and block.

Against the Run (-)

Werner shoots his hands, but gives up on the play and runs himself upfield instead of choking the gap gown.

While Werner shows flashes of good play against the run, his effort can get somewhat lackadaisical. He will go through spurts where he doesn’t hustle in pursuit or engage in the play whatsoever if the action goes away from him. He also struggles setting the edge when teams run right at him, and he has a tendency to run and dance around blocks at the point of attack.

Werner works his way through trash and makes a play in the backfield.

Tackling (+)

Werner is a very sound tackler, rarely missing running backs or quarterbacks in the backfield when he has a clean shot. He wraps up and drags down his targets securely both in trash and in space.

Use of Hands (+)

Werner shows that he has some pop in his hand strike, knocking the offensive tackle off balance.

Werner is very good about shooting his hands quickly off the snap and landing inside placement when playing the run. However, his upright playing style greatly limits his functional strength.

He also doesn’t have an advanced repertoire of pass-rush moves, but is also very good at swiping offensive tackles hands off of his body while coming around the edge, finishing with an solid arm-under that gets him past tackles as he skims the edge.

Future Role/Versatility

Despite playing the left defensive spot primarily at Florida State, Werner projects best as a weak-side defensive end for a 4-3 team. He does have some experience rushing standing up as well as dropping into coverage; that, combined with his excellent snap anticipation, first-step, and closing speed around the edge, and might make him attractive to some 3-4 teams, but his best fit is as a 4-3 end.

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