At 6′ 4″ and 256 lbs, Florida State’s Bjoern Werner is an intimidating figure. The defensive end originally from Berlin (and yes I mean Germany) has vaulted up draft boards (thanks to 13 sacks and 42 total tackles) this past year to become CBS’s #2 overall player and ESPN’s #8 player overall. From that it can be seen that scouts love this guy.
Now, I will evaluate him on these criteria: Agility, Bull Rush, Speed Rush, Run Defense, Speed/Burst, Strength, Pass Deflect, Tackle, Read and React, Health, and Overall.
Werner has amazing agility. He possesses the ability to change directions when he is going full speed in his pass rush and get around 300+ lb. offensive tackles and get to quarterbacks. He creates a ton of pressure in the backfield, but I’ll get more into that when I talk about his pass rushing. Werner also always keeps his feet moving which helps him a ton in this area. He has a rare motor that is going 100% of the time. It’s something I wish I could see out of every defensive end in the NCAA. 9.5/10.0
Werner is extremely strong and very technically sound and uses that to his advantage with his bull rush. Werner locks his arms out (pushes the offensive lineman back until his arms are completely straight) and keeps his feet driving and head up so that he can read the play. When he is in the position to use a bull rush, he pushes the o-lineman back about five yards and then throws him using basic throw or any of a bevy of moves that he has at his disposal. This is not the best part of his rush game, but it is still extremely good. 9.0/10.0
This is best part of Werner’s pass rushing and by far the one he uses most often. Because he is so fast and usually on the edge, Werner uses his speed to run around his offensive lineman and then throw a rip move when he turns toward the QB. Werner takes the best angle possible and closes in on the QB before one even knows it. The best example of this is in the Oklahoma game from 2011. At 1:12 in the video I will post below, Werner uses a perfect speed rush to close in on Sooner QB Landry Jones within three seconds. A NFL couldn’t ask for more from him. 9.5/10.0
This is probably the area of Werner’s game that could use the most work and it isn’t even really that bad. Werner can read any play almost instantaneously which helps him out a ton in this area. There are just times that he will get turned by an o-lineman or he will miss tackles on running backs. There are also sometimes where he over pursues, but honestly, what d-lineman doesn’t at one point or another. I never really saw Werner lose contain other than the times he got turned, which was only a couple. If I were an NFL team, I would look at that at his biggest area of improvement, but not really as an area of weakness. 8.0/10.0
Werner is the fastest defensive lineman I have seen in quite some time. His speed rush is absolutely amazing and when he chases after a play that has gotten past him, he gets there in no time. Every play he bursts off of the line of scrimmage with amazing amounts of speed, quickness, and agility. He just possesses this rare motor that pushes him to speeds I only wish I could get to. 9.5/10.0
Werner is one strong dude. That is the best way I can think to describe him. A great example is from that same Oklahoma game I mentioned earlier. (The play happens at 1:01 in the video) In the play, the FSU defensive is backed up at its own 3 and 1/2 yard line, and Werner uses a great burst like I mentioned above, and an amazing rip and basically holds the Oklahoma tight end who was blocking him in this heavy, goal line formation at his side with that one arm and puts enough pressure on Landry Jones that it forces him to throw the ball out of the back of the end zone. I cannot wait to see how many reps he puts up in the bench press test at the combine. 9.0/10.0
When a player gets compared to J.J. Watt (nicknamed “J.J. Swat”) for his ability to knock down passes, then they are obviously pretty good at it. And all of that applies to Bjoern Werner. Werner has taken what all defensive line coaches teach, which is to get your hands up if you can’t get to the quarterback, and made it into one of his best assets. I’m sure there have been QBs who have thrown to the other side than Werner is lined up on just because they don’t want to get the ball knocked down. This ability can be seen throughout Werner’s tapes, but especially in the Virginia Tech and NC State games from this past season (1:10 in the VT video and 9:00 in the NC State video). 9.0/10.0
As I stated earlier, Werner is a good tackler, but he does miss some tackles in the run game. This will be something that he’ll need to improve on, but for now he is definitely a good enough tackler for the NFL and I can guarantee you there are teams salivating at the chance to have Werner on their defense. 8.5/10.0
READ AND REACT:
This was the first area that really struck me as being one of Werner’s best. I said this earlier, but I’ll say it again here. Werner can read plays and react with a pass rush or start reading for where the running back or quarterback is running almost instantaneously. It is an ability that not all players have and this will help him a ton at the next level. 9.5/10.0
I can’t think of any injuries that Werner suffered in college that will hamper him on Sundays (if he even suffered any injuries during college). So, yeah, he’s perfectly healthy. 10.0/10.0
I have Bjoern Werner as a 9.15/10.00, which is extremely good. Overall, I believe that Werner is a big, strong, technically-sound, fast guy who is ready to move onto the NFL and be one of the top 5 picks in the first round in April.
If it’s not already apparent, I love Bjoern Werner. I think that “The Germanator” is going to do some special things in the National Football League. Now where exactly do I see him getting drafted? I think KC is in love with Luke Joeckel, so as much as I wish he would go #1 so that there can be another top tier pass rusher in the AFC West other than Von Miller, I think Werner will go #2 to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags are another team that are in desperate need of some one at almost every position, and I think that they’ll love what they see from Werner in the Combine and at his Pro Day March 19.
Let me know what you think in the comments below and follow me on Twitter! @J_Vinton52 and tomorrow I’ll be previewing West Virginia QB Geno Smith!