Ryan Grigson, Chuck Pagano, and the rest of the Colts staff truly went the best player available route tonight. Many teams like the Chicago Bears, New York Giants, and Buffalo Bills reached for prospects which helped the Colts land their man. At pick 24, the Colts took OLB Bjoern Werner out of Florida State.
The biggest need entering the draft was a pass-rusher and they addressed it right out of the gate with Werner. I imagine Grigson and Pagano imagine they want to mold Werner into a hybrid of J.J. Watt, Paul Kruger, and Jarrett Johnson. All three of these players either have wrecked havoc on Indianapolis or have Pagano connections.
Werner earned the ACC Defensive Player of the Year after racking up 42 tackles and 13 sacks. The transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4 for him will be interesting to watch. Bjoern has the frame (6'3, 266 pounds) to become an OLB in Pagano's system though.
The german-born product will come in and play an immediate role. He will be a pass-rushing specialist in his first year, but eventually will replace Robert Mathis down the line. Werner can also sub-in for Erik Walden on third downs on the opposite side of Mathis.
Right after the Colts selected Werner, Grigson and Pagano held their post-pick press conference. Here are the quotes below provided by Kevin Bowen of Colts.com.
Pagano: "He's a dynamic pass rusher. We knew we needed to address that. He was the higheset rated player on the board at the time."— Kevin Bowen (@KBowenColts) April 26, 2013
Grigson said that him and Pagano went down to Florida State to work Werner out. He can play both SAM and RUSH linebacker.— Kevin Bowen (@KBowenColts) April 26, 2013
Grigson on Werner's film: "He's the first guy off the ball every down. His closing speed is excellent on the film."— Kevin Bowen (@KBowenColts) April 26, 2013
Also, here is Grigson and Pagano talking about the Werner pick in the video below from 1070 The Fan's Conrad Brunner.
I love this pick folks. It fills a massive need and gives the Colts an immediate weapon on defense. What is everyone else's thoughts on the Werner selection? Did you like it?