After over two months on the open market, former Colts first round pick Bjoern Werner has found a new home. The Jacksonville Jaguars announced today that they have signed Werner to add depth at defensive end.
Werner was drafted by the Colts in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of Florida State to bolster their pass rush, but things didn't work out as envisioned. Werner played in 38 games (starting 16) and recorded 77 tackles, 6.5 sacks, five passes defensed, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. It was clear for a while that the Colts weren't sold on Werner, such as when they had him inactive in the AFC Championship game in the 2014 season and then inactive for a couple of games in 2015 as well. The Colts finally moved on from the draft bust earlier this offseason.
For the Jaguars, they are taking the chance on a former first round pick and hoping that Werner can turn things around with a change of scenery. We've seen it before with Colts first round pass rushers, as Jerry Hughes was a bust with the Colts and has become a good pass rusher with the Bills. I'm not saying that will happen with Werner, but the Jaguars are hoping that it will. Another thing to consider is that with the Jaguars Werner will play defensive end (he played outside linebacker with the Colts), which many think is his most natural position. With offseason rosters at 90 players, it's not a bad move to take a chance on a guy like that and hope that all that is needed is a change of scenery. I have my doubts about whether that will happen, but we'll see whether the Jaguars can help him turn his career around.