Bjoern Werner is a German-born American football defensive end. He is a junior currently attending Florida State University. Werner is regarded as one of the top prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft
"As a sophomore high school exchange student from Germany, Werner wowed his Salisbury (Conn.) teammates and coaches by racking up 12 sacks in eight games. He missed his home country, however, so he moved back to Berlin - but kept his mind on the game by playing on a national team. Colleges were very happy he returned to Salisbury for his senior season; Florida State and its then-new head coach Jimbo Fisher eventually won the battle to secure his services (over Chip Kelly and Oregon).
It didnt take the already-married Werner long to make an impact in Tallahassee, playing in all 14 games with six tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks as a true freshman. He started all 13 games as a sophomore, earning honorable mention All-ACC recognition with 11 tackles for loss and seven sacks. Werner also scored a touchdown versus Clemson, catching a failed throw-away attempt by Tigers QB Tajh Boyd that went straight up in the air and into his arms. Werner was good in 2011, but was great in 2012, earning ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors after leading the conference in sacks (13). He also had 42 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 8 passes break-ups. Capitalizing on his productive junior season, Werner decided to forgo his final year at Florida State and enter the NFL draft.
Flexible athlete with the natural bend to dip and contort his body to get under or around blocks. Shows excellent snap anticipation and fires out of his stance. Projects as a strong-side 4-3 end who can play the run well and get pressure on the quarterback. Possesses good quickness off the snap for his size and flashes some shimmy to get the inside lane. Finds the ball well and uses active hands to rip past tackles after initial contact. Brings power to his punch, can bull his man towards the quarterback with leverage. Swallows running backs after shedding his man in the run game, has athleticism to make tackles in space. Stacks and sheds well, sets the edge and works off blocks to make stops in the run game. Times jumps well to knock down passes if unable to get to the quarterback, also looks comfortable making plays in coverage (18 career passes defended).
Lacks elite length for the position and doesnt have the natural start/stop explosion of some pass rushers. Pops straight up out of his stance at times, losing strength at the point of attack, and is inconsistent turning the corner as a pass rusher. Usually looks for misdirection when unblocked but loses contain when getting caught up in pulling guards instead of keeping outside leverage. Motor tends to run hot/cold at times, especially late in games or if the play isnt to his side of the field. Needs to consistently finish when he gets his hands on the ball carrier. Has a history of several minor injuries, including a left hand issue that bothered him this past season.
Born and raised in Berlin, Germany, Werner enjoyed American football growing up and joined a club team before moving to the United States as a high school exchange student, playing two seasons and emerging as a top recruit. He has developed his football knowledge and technique substantially the past five years, flashing a top football IQ and instincts. Werner has the frame and athleticism to win with flashes of speed or power, although he needs to improve his motor for all four quarters. He has proven to be much more than just a pass rusher, showing much better awareness against the run and at the line of scrimmage to swat passes down a possible top-five overall draft choice with the potential to be an impact starting strong-side DE in a four-man front."
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