My buddy Tommy Lawlor and I have the best
football podcast in the history of the Universe. Waaaaaay back in December, we had already begun taking a look at the top names in the draft that could be of interest to the Eagles. One of the players we discussed was Bjoern Werner. Here was Tommy’s take on Werner 4 months ago:
Here’s an interesting guy, 6’4, 255 pounds, he’s only a Junior, but when you watch him play he’s got a great motor, he plays strong and physical. He’s a good run defender, he can set the edge, and he has an explosive burst when he wants to really fly off the edge. Florida State at times will line up in the Wide 9 alignment on certain passing downs and have their ends just explode up the field and crash into the quarterback. He has the burst to do that. When they want him to play the run and come off under control and set the edge, he can do that. He’s a guy that I think can be a top 10 pick.
Florida State has a player named Brandon Jenkins who was a Senior this year. For the first three years, I kept hearing “Watch Jenkins.” So you’d turn on Florida State to watch #49 (Jenkins) and I’d end up watching the defensive end on the other side, #95 (Werner). That was the guy that constantly caught my attention. At a certain point I went from saying “That guy just hustles and gets lucky,” to “He’s flat out just a great football player.”
The interesting thing about Werner is that he could play in a 3-4 as an OLB because he’s got that big frame at 6’4, 255, and he’s a decent athlete, or he could play DE in a 4-3. So he’s a guy that could be of interest (regardless of whether the Eagles stick with their 4-3 or switch to a 3-4). If you wanted him to bulk up to 270 because the new coaching staff wants bigger players, he can do it. If you look at a guy like Justin Smith who plays now for the Niners, when he came out of Missouri he was 6’3, 260-270 pounds, and he has played as heavy as 285-290. He has also played as low as 265-270. Some guys can alter their bodies to whatever the coaches want. Werner has that kind of frame that can adjust to whatever the coaching staff wants, and I think that’s a nice asset to have.
He has 23.5 career sacks, 35 tackles for loss, 3 forced fumbles, and 16 pass breakups. That tells you he’s good with his hands, and he bats a lot of passes down. One of the other things I like about Werner is the fact that he can shed blocks. So often when you watch the college prospects the guys use their speed to get off the edge, or they use quickness or a move, and they’re able to beat offensive tackles because they’re just better athletes. When I watched Aldon Smith a few years ago I knew that he was going to be a good pass rusher because he had violent hands, and he had the ability to shed blocks. With so many young prospects, if they don’t beat you with their initial burst or a spin move or whatever they do, they can’t shed the block. But Werner can.
Boom. To repeat, best
football podcast ever.
Mike Mayock was recently talking about Werner on NFLN, and while I don’t have the exact quote, he said something to the effect of, “Werner could go as high as 5 or as low as 28.” And that’s what makes this draft class so crazy. I have him going on the bottom end of Mayock’s prediction. That would be a lot lower than where he probably should be drafted. From the Broncos’ perspective, if indeed Werner somehow fell to 28, that would take some of the sting out of fax-gate.
On a side note… Who uses a fax machine anymore?