As we head toward the NFL Draft in April, Warchant will take a look at the notable seniors (or draft-declared underclassmen) who train their eye toward the professional ranks. As the process moves along, these stock reports will feature updates. Next up in this series, Bjoern Werner.
Position: Defensive End
Weight: 256 pounds.
2012 Stats: 14 games played, 42 tackles (30 solo), 18.0 TFL, 13 sacks
Career Stats: 41 games played, 99 tackles (63 solo), 35 tackles for loss, 23.5 sacks
NFL Draft projections: CBS NFL Draft Scout - No.2 player overall, No. 1 DE, 1st round. ESPN - No. 8 player overall, No. 3 DE 1st round.
Overview: Bjoern Werner's decision to go pro didn't come as a surprise to anyone. Only Jarvis Jones of Georgia and UCLA's Anthony Barr had more sacks than Werner in 2012 (five other players had 13 sacks as well). There was nothing left for Werner to prove at the college level. Most mock drafts have him as consensus Top-10 pick.
As a junior the Berlin, Germany native was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year and a Unanimous All-American as he dominated opposing offensive lines. Making Werner's season all the more impressive, was the fact that he did so with teams focusing on him much of the game. After Brandon Jenkins went down for the year in the first game, Cornellius Carradine stepped up big for FSU, but opposing teams still dedicated much of their attention to trying to keep Werner from ruining their night.
In just three seasons at FSU, Werner certainly left his mark with 23.5 sacks. He will likely be the 37th first-round pick in school history when the draft rolls around, and potentially the highest Seminole picked since Ernie Sims went ninth overall in 2006 to Detroit. No matter where he goes in the first round, Werner will be the highest drafted German-born player ever.
Brute strength. Even after slimming down to 256 pounds this season, Werner was able to overpower opposing offensive lineman. His strength is what allowed him to take on double teams, and no only makes him an elite pass-rusher but a solid run-stopper as well.
Werner also plays the game with tremendous instincts. He always seems to be in the right place at the right moment, despite only playing the game for two seasons before coming to Connecticut for high school. In addition to all the plays he made in opposing backfields, Werner also deflected eight passes this season (tied for second most on the team).
Weaknesses: Finding a weakness in Werner's game isn't easy. If anything Werner could improve in his run-stopping ability. Certainly he has shown he has he can get after the quarterback, but if we had to pick an area for him to improve on, it's stopping the run.
Where does he fit in the NFL?
There is no doubt that Werner is best suited to play defensive end in a 4-3 defense in the NFL. Werner has thrived at this position the last three seasons. He has put his hand on the ground most of the time, but he also stood up more than a couple of times. Playing outside linebacker in a 3-4 system isn't out of the question for Werner, but a 4-3 DE seems like the more likely position for Werner.
Over the next three months, he'll look to show/improve
For Werner the key is just to stay healthy. Everything teams want to see form him is already on film. As long as he shows up healthy and in shape to workouts for pro teams and at FSU Pro Day, Werner will be selected early in the first round.
In case you missed it...
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Draft Stock: Tank Carradine
Draft Stock: Everett Dawkins
Draft Stock: Brandon Jenkins
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