Bjoern Werner Scouting Report

February 10th, 2013

Bjoern Werner has some unique qualities that will make him a top 10 pick (Photo from bullrush.com)


QB / RB / FB / WR / TE / OT / OG / OC / DT / DE / OLB / ILB / CB / SAF
Prospect: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 255 lb.
Grade: 7.61 (Grading Scale)

Scouting Report:

Athleticism:
+Showed improved athletic ability as a junior after dropping playing weight from about 275 to 255
-Open field speed nothing special, doesn’t make a ton of plays in space
+Adequate foot quickness, keeps feet underneath him consistently and plays very balanced
+Always plays under control, won’t run past plays by being overaggressive or not breaking down in space
+Very strong player in both upper and lower body

Intelligence/Effort:
+/-Plays with a very measured physicality, not one to put his body on the line to try and make tackles
-Questionable motor and effort level, will pull up on too many plays in pursuit if he feels his teammates have it handled
+Classroom guy who was no stranger to academic awards for the Seminoles
+Shows incredible knowledge of the game for a high school foreign exchange student with only 5 years of football experience

Pass Rush:
+Frequently wins around the corner with impressive burst off the snap
+Dips his shoulder well on the edge, comes easily with naturally low pad level to start with
-Lacks a developed repertoire of pass rush moves, essentially still winning on athletic ability and instincts
+Untapped potential in his bullrush, has the pad level and lower body strength to do it, simply opted not to make the best use of it in college
+Strong hands can knock offensive tackles off balances, uses repeated blows with his hands to keep blockers guessing
+Leverages the quarterback very well because he always has his eyes on him, anticipates his movement and release and reacts accordingly
+Uses wingspan to his benefit by getting his hands into passing lanes, does so in a timely fashion with quick reactions

Run Support:
+Very gap disciplined against the run, keeps outside shoulder free to set the edge, rarely fooled by misdirection plays
+Terrific ball awareness, finds it first and instinctively plays off blocks with his eyes up
+Stands up blockers quickly before creating space to disengage with arm extension
-Doesn’t get to the ball at a high enough rate after shedding blockers, somewhat motor-related
+Squeezes down holes from outside in when left unblocked, anticipates the kick-out block coming and reacts quickly

Technique:
+Flashes technician-like qualities as a pass rusher occasionally, will swat the hands of pass blockers away to keep them from getting into his frame
+Hands are very powerful, packs a heavy initial punch
+Plays with very low pad level, credit to his flexible hips and overall body control
+Anticipates cut blocks well and shoots hands quickly to keep the blocker off of his feet
+Because he is relatively new to football, has not developed bad or lazy habits

Overall:
Bjoern Werner lit the college football world on fire early in the season by tallying 6.5 sacks in his first three games (against pretty poor competition to be fair). Nobody should have been surprised though. Werner recorded 10.5 sacks between his freshman and sophomore seasons and showed consistent improvement throughout. In fact, he’s still improving every game because he’s still relatively inexperienced. He only played two years of high school football before stepping on the field and contributing to the Florida State defense as a true freshman. That alone speaks to the physical tools he possesses. For a relatively inexperienced prospect, Werner shows a surprisingly high football IQ with impressive read and react skills. He’s still coming into his own as a pass rusher, considering he’s only played at his current weight for only a season. He has the perfect build and skillset for 4-3 defensive end and can reasonably play on either side. The best thing about Bjoern Werner is that he’ll be drafted high because of his unlimited potential, but he’s absolutely ready to contribute from day one and will be very reliable. Prospects like Werner with a high floor and a high ceiling don’t come around very often, which is why he should be a lock to be drafted in the first five picks.–Darren Page

Scouting Notes:
Florida State vs. North Carolina State
• Fights off block of tight end before engaging the fullback on run coming off tackle his way
• Plays off a run block and gets down the line well before crushing the running back after he cuts upfield
• Splits a double team effectively, ball comes out quick so he gets his arms up and almost gets a piece of the ball
• Controls run blocker with his hands and pushes him right back into the path of the running back
• Right tackle takes a poor angle on a toss and can’t reach Werner who tackles back for a 6 yard loss
• Seeing a very high number of double teams on pass plays, right guard helping over frequently
• Starting to get a beat on the snap count, beats tackle around the corner soundly, ball comes out quickly though
• Switches to right end late in the fourth quarter, bats down a slant pass while being held on second play from the right side
• Dips around corner and runs right past right tackle, puts a hit on Mike Glennon right after he releases the ball

Florida State vs. Miami
• In full control but struggles to disengage from a tight end and pursue and on toss to his side
• Drops in coverage, looks very uncomfortable and shuffles with his hips turned
• Spins off of contact to chase a swing pass, lacks the open field speed or proper angle to cut off the back, quits on the play after he runs past it
• Makes extra effort to block multiple players after an interception
• Effectively turns the corner one on one with a tight end, sacks Stephen Morris
• Recognizes draw quickly and redirects from blocker, makes tackle for loss after shooting inside
• Consistently failing to win with strength on initial contact against right tackle, has to resort to trying to win around the corner
• Creates space after getting tackle to stop his feet with initial bullrush attempt, gets around the corner and sacks Morris who is holding the ball too long

Florida State vs. Maryland
• Attacks read option effectively, gets a piece of the running back immediately after he receives the handoff
• Plays off a chip from the outside effectively, quarterback ends up running right into him for a sack though
• Anticipates cut block and uses hands to avoid it, then gets his hands into passing lane to tip the slant pass
• Shoots low off the snap without hesitation, gets tackle to overextend with speed before getting underneath his pads and shooting back inside
• Quick off the snap and gets inside arm underneath hands of the tackle and rips through, forces quarterback to step up into a sack
• Slow-plays a speed option directly at him effectively, forces a delayed decision from the quarterback
• Consistently beating the slow right tackle around the corner, seems to have a good beat on the snap count as well
• Makes an easy tackle-for-loss on a bad decision by the quarterback on a read option
• Freezes on play-action, breaks towards quarterback quickly when he keeps it, stays under control to keep from missing

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