Probably not athletic enough to play in space as a 3-4 outside linebacker
May lack the agility to rush standing up in the NFL
Summary: The Berlin, Germany product is a physical presence who plays with a mean streak and has some pass-rush ability. Considering his origins, it isn't surprising that Werner got a late start in football. He played two seasons in high school after coming to the United States as an exchange student.
Werner saw his first playing time for the Seminoles as a true freshman in 2010. A backup, he had 20 tackles, six tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks. In 2011, Werner beat out Tank Carradine to start on the other side from Brandon Jenkins, and Werner outplayed Jenkins at times. Werner totaled seven sacks, 37 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, one interception, one forced fumble and eight pass breakups as a sophomore. It was clear that he was just scratching the surface of what he could do on the field.
Werner exploded to start 2012, amassing four sacks in the season opener against Murray State. He received extra blocking attention after Jenkins went out for the season, and that helped teammate Carradine have a breakout season.
After that fast start, Werner went four straight games without a sack before he broke the drought against Miami in late October with 1.5 sacks. Werner had six tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, a fumble recovery and 3.5 sacks in the rivalry battle with Florida to close out the regular season.
Werner only had one tackle against the Yellow Jackets in the ACC Championship game, but handled their option run extremely well. Werner was in contain a lot of the game and held his ground without getting moved off the line of scrimmage. Against a tough running attack, he showed nice instincts and the ability to read his keys quickly. Werner also played well against Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl. The juniot recorded 42 tackles, 13 sacks, 18 tackles for a loss, eight passes batted and a forced fumble in 2012. He shared being third in the nation in sacks as well.
The Seminoles stand-out mixes a good motor with a bit of a mean streak. Werner defends the run well, holds his ground and has a nice ability to get off of blocks just before the ball-carrier gets to him. He also pursues well around the field to chase down backs. Florida State played Werner in contain often at the line of scrimmage, but he was at his best when the coaches let him get upfield. Werner caused havoc by firing by linemen to disrupt runs in the backfield and pressure the quarterback.
As a pass-rusher, Werner can beat tackles with power or speed. He beats slower right tackles with his first step and has enough speed to turn the corner. Werner also has the strength to shed blocks and cut to the inside. He additionally has nice pursuit skills once he gets free of his blocker.
Werner should continue to refine and add to his pass-rushing moves for the NFL. He has the strength for an effective bull rush, club move and rip move. From a speed perspective, Werner would be better off going against right tackles, but against weaker left tackles, he could overpower them.
Overall, Werner has a nice skill set, is well-rounded and will give excellent effort. He doesn't have elite speed or power, but he should be a starter and productive player during his NFL career. Werner looks like a solid first-round pick as a base end in a 4-3 defense.
Player Comparison: Kyle Vanden Bosch. A lot of people compare Werner to Rams defensive end Chris Long, but acknowledge that Werner is a poor man's version who doesn't have the veteran's speed or explosion. Another good comparison is Vanden Bosch. He turned into a good pro after being the 34th-overall pick by the Cardinals in the 2001 NFL Draft. During a solid career, Vanden Bosch (6-4, 278) has had two seasons of double-digit sacks and is a good pass-rusher. He is physical at the point of attack and does a quality job defending the run. Werner could turn out to be a player who is similar to Vanden Bosch.
NFL Matches: Tampa Bay, New York Giants, Minnesota, Denver, Atlanta
As a 4-3 defensive end, Werner doesn't have as many options. If 3-4 teams like him as an outside linebacker, he could be in play for the Saints (No. 15), the Steelers (No. 17) or the Colts (No. 24). However, Werner looks like a much better fit staying in a 4-3 system.
With that being the case, the earliest that Werner could hope to go would probably be to the Buccaneers at pick No. 13. However, the Bucs are a long-shot because they let Michael Bennett leave in free agency and want to start Da'Quan Bowers.
The Giants are a perfect fit for Werner. He would be a nice complement on the other side from Jason Pierre-Paul.
The Vikings have a long-term need at defensive end. Jared Allen has been awesome but won't play forever. Minnesota could consider Werner, but the team seems more likely to target other positions.
Denver could use a defensive end. Werner would form a nice pass-rushing trio with Von Miller and Derek Wolfe. It wouldn't be surprising if the Broncos drafted Werner if he falls to their pick.
Atlanta must upgrade its pass rush, and Werner could be a nice value pick for the Falcons late in the first round.