Prospect: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida StateBjoern Werner

Height: 6’3¼”

Weight: 256 lb.

Athleticism:

  • Showed improved athletic ability as a junior after dropping playing weight from about 275 to 255
  • Open field speed nothing special, doesn’t make a ton of plays in space
  • Adequate foot quickness, keeps feet underneath him consistently and plays very balanced
  • Always plays under control, won’t run past plays by being overaggressive or not breaking down in space
  • Very strong player in both upper and lower body

Intelligence/Effort:

  • Plays with a very measured physicality, not one to put his body on the line to try and make tackles
  • Questionable motor and effort level, will pull up on too many plays in pursuit if he feels his teammates have it handled
  • Classroom guy who was no stranger to academic awards for the Seminoles
  • Shows incredible knowledge of the game for a high school foreign exchange student with only 5 years of football experience

Pass Rush:

  • Frequently wins around the corner with impressive burst off the snap
  • Dips his shoulder well on the edge, comes easily with naturally low pad level to start with
  • Lacks a developed repertoire of pass rush moves, essentially still winning on athletic ability and instincts
  • Untapped potential in his bullrush, has the pad level and lower body strength to do it, simply opted not to make the best use of it in college
  • Strong hands can knock offensive tackles off balances, uses repeated blows with his hands to keep blockers guessing
  • Leverages the quarterback very well because he always has his eyes on him, anticipates his movement and release and reacts accordingly
  • Uses wingspan to his benefit by getting his hands into passing lanes, does so in a timely fashion with quick reactions, gets hands to high number of passes

Run Support:

  • Very gap disciplined against the run, keeps outside shoulder free to set the edge, rarely fooled by misdirection plays
  • Terrific ball awareness, finds it first and instinctively plays off blocks with his eyes up
  • Stands up blockers quickly before creating space to disengage with arm extension
  • Doesn’t get to the ball at a high enough rate after shedding blockers, somewhat motor-related
  • Squeezes down holes from outside in when left unblocked, anticipates the kick-out block coming and reacts quickly

Technique:

  • Flashes technician-like qualities as a pass rusher occasionally, will swat the hands of pass blockers away to keep them from getting into his frame
  • Hands are very powerful, packs a heavy initial punch
  • Plays with very low pad level, credit to his flexible hips and overall body control
  • Anticipates cut blocks well and shoots hands quickly to keep the blocker off of his feet

Overall:

Bjoern Werner lit the college football world on fire early in the season by tallying 6.5 sacks in his first three games (against pretty poor competition to be fair).  Nobody should have been surprised though.  Werner recorded 10.5 sacks between his freshman and sophomore seasons and showed consistent improvement throughout.  In fact, he’s still improving every game because he’s still relatively inexperienced.  He only played two years of high school football before stepping on the field and contributing to the Florida State defense as a true freshman.  That alone speaks to the physical tools he possesses.  For a relatively inexperienced prospect, Werner shows a surprisingly high football IQ with impressive read and react skills.  He’s still coming into his own as a pass rusher, considering he’s only played at his current weight for only a season.  He has the perfect build and skillset for 4-3 defensive end and can reasonably play on either side.  The best thing about Bjoern Werner is that he’ll be drafted high because of his unlimited potential, but he’s absolutely ready to contribute from day one and will be very reliable.  Prospects like Werner with a high floor and a high ceiling don’t come around very often, which is why he should be a lock to be drafted in the first five picks.

Originally published at DetroitLionsDraft.com: Bjoern Werner Scouting Report

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