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FSU’s DE Werner Could Add Pass-Rush Boost With 18th Pick
(Editor’s Note: Heading into the upcoming NFL Draft, held April 25-27, DallasCowboys.com will take a closer look at the prospects, including some that could be potential fits with the Cowboys. Today’s featured player is Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner).
Name: Bjoern Werner
Position: Defensive End
College: Florida State
Age: 22 (born Aug. 30, 1990)
Honors: What awards didn’t Werner accrue last season? He was a unanimous first-team All-American after being selected as such by eight publications. With that much support, it’s no surprise he was also named ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Werner tallied 42 tackles, 18 of which were for loss with 13 being sacks. He was a finalist for both the Bronko Nagurski and Ted Hendricks awards.
Key Stat: Werner is one of the smaller defensive end prospects at the top of the draft, and he doesn’t necessarily display the speed to make up for that. He clocked a so-so 4.83 at the NFL Combine, although it’s important to remember 40 times don’t translate that well to edge rushers. Against FSU’s three biggest opponents – Clemson, Florida and Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl – Werner tallied 12 tackles and 3.5 sacks.
Where He’s Headed: Most mock drafts list Werner as one of the top defensive ends in the draft, along with BYU’s Ziggy Ansah and Oregon’s Dion Jordan. However, the lack of star players in this draft means Werner is no lock to go early. He’s a lock to be gone in the first round, but he could last as late as the high teens or early 20s.
How He Helps the Cowboys: DeMarcus Ware is going to shift down to defensive end in the 4-3 scheme, and the Cowboys hope Anthony Spencer will repeat his franchise tag production on the other side. But it remains to be seen how that tandem will work in a new scheme, and it’s also a mystery whether Spencer will be with the team beyond 2013. So investing in a potential long-term pass rusher could be a useful move. Pretty much every elite defense in the league has a franchise pass rusher.
Scout’s Take: There is not a player that I struggle with more in this draft than Werner. I can be right with my thoughts or I can be terribly wrong like I was on Joey Harrington. I feel that he should be drafted in the first round of this draft but I surly wouldn’t do it over Ziggy Ansah or Dion Jordan. … Scouts talk about his first-step quickness and his ability to bend around the corner as one of his great strengths, but I just don’t see this all the time. I don’t see a player that has that natural stop-start quickness that the great ones do. … Plays with a huge motor and you can see this throughout his play, but there were times against Miami where he was really off and he didn’t bust his butt to get to the ball. … There are times where he gets hooked on blocks and really struggles to disengage. … Benched 225 pounds 25 times at the Combine, so his strength shouldn’t be an issue, although at times it is. … Tends to get in personal battles with the blocker. … Has a burst to close when he is in the open. … Have seen him take on the trap block and play it well. … Is one of those players who likes to play really wide and attack the quarterback that way. … Didn’t see many pass rush moves. His best move was trying to slap the tackle’s hands down and grab the edge. … Like the way he did play with awareness and doing his job. … Will stay at home or slide down the line when the ball goes inside. … There are scouts that had him in the top five of this draft as a rusher, but I would be scared to death and would look to other areas for options. – Bryan Broaddus