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Breakdown Of The Bjoern Werner Pick

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Werner was selected #24 overall by the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Werner was selected #24 overall by the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, I put outside linebacker as the Indianapolis Colts’ primary need heading into the draft. Apparently GM Ryan Grigson agrees, because that’s the position the Colts addressed when they took Bjoern Werner with the 24th overall pick.

I was torn over whether or not I liked this pick, but overall I think it was a smart move. Here are the positives and negatives about this selection.

Positive

  • As previously mentioned, the Colts addressed their biggest need. With Andrew Luck at the helm, Indianapolis will be playing with leads and thus must make their defense suited to defend the pass. With Robert Mathis getting old and no other player on the roster a consistent sacker, grabbing a pass-rusher was a must.
  • Werner is very durable. He played 41 games over three years at Florida State. After Mathis and Dwight Freeney kept getting nicked up last year, it will be nice to have dependable production at the position.
  • He’s also still got a lot of room to grow. Originally a soccer player in Germany, Werner only played two years of high school football before college. He’s still far from his ceiling.
  • Werner is a solid run defender. This will be a good complement to Mathis, who will be the main pass-rush specialist.

Negative

  • The biggest problem I had with this pick was that Werner is best suited as a 4-3 defensive end. He could probably play as both an end and outside linebacker in a 3-4, but he won’t be at his best in either situation. He’s never had to worry about playing in coverage, which he will have to do in a 3-4.
  • The Colts probably could’ve traded back to the beginning of the second round and still selected him. They don’t have any picks in the second or fifth round, so they should have traded back to get the most choices as possible.
  • Although Werner has a lot of potential, it will take a while for him to develop his talent. This is because he’s raw and because he will be transitioning to an outside linebacker. The Colts must stay patient with him.
  • I’m a tad worried that playing on such a dominant defensive line in college helped make him look better. Opposing lines couldn’t afford to double team him because of Tank Carradine, Everett Dawkins and company. He will see a lot more double teams in the NFL. Will that deter him? Only time will tell.