2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Colts take Werner with No. 24 pick in NFL draft

By MICHAEL MAROT - AP Sports Writer
    2013-04-25 23:36

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Colts general manager Ryan Grigson ignored the times and watched Bjoern Werner's game tape.

What he saw was a football player who plays fast - certainly fast enough to outweigh concerns over his 40-yard dash times. So when the Colts saw the 6-foot-3, 266-pound defensive end from Florida State available with the 24th pick overall Thursday night, they wasted no time in passing up trade offers and selected the native German who they're planning to move to outside linebacker.

``You turn on the film and he jumps off the screen at you. He's one of those guys you watch and immediately say, `He's not going to be there,''' Grigson said. ``But like we talked from the beginning, you take the combine with a grain of salt. It factors, but you shouldn't let a great player slide by you because he didn't blow out a great 40 time. This guy is productive, plays hard, is a team player too and fits coach's mold as a human being and a football player.''

If the transition from defensive end to linebacker goes as smoothly as the one Werner made from soccer to American football, the Colts will have a steal.

Werner said he changed sports at age 12, starting with two years of flag football. That's three years earlier than listed on his bio.

Neither that discrepancy nor his 40-yard dash time of 4.83 seconds at the combine mattered to the Colts. They had him rated higher because of what they saw on film and in a personal workout. They also saw a player who could replace the franchise's career sacks leader, Dwight Freeney, and supplement the Colts' No. 2 sacks man, Robert Mathis, in the lineup this fall.

``He (Werner) is an edge setter. We always talk about those guys, first and foremost, being able to set the edge in the run game. He can certainly do that,'' coach Chuck Pagano said. ``He's a dynamic pass rusher. He's a guy that obviously we knew we needed to address that (pass rush) and he's the highest player on the board at the time. We can do a lot of things with this guy.''

Pagano started laying out those possibilities even before Werner, who watched the draft in New York City, made it onto a conference call with local reporters.

The Colts believe he can play strong-side linebacker, rush linebacker or perhaps even play on the defensive line. He could even help the Colts as a fullback in goal-line situations, something Pagano said he's already discussed with new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton.

Of all the moves they made in free agency, this was one glaring need. Indy filled in two gaps on the offensive line, replaced departed receiver Donnie Avery by adding former first-round pick Darrius Heyward-Bey and brought in six new defensive players, all of whom they expect to be immediate contributors.

But none of those players has a pass-rushing resume quite like Werner's and he can't wait to prove it.

``Coach Pagano, I just connected with him when he worked me out a couple of weeks ago and I can't wait to meet with them,'' Werner said after explaining his emotions by using the German word for excited. ``I'm happy they picked me.''

Werner is also part of a new wave of foreign-born players entering the league.

The good news is that he's a fast learner.

He landed in America as a foreign-exchange student at a Connecticut high school. Florida State thought enough of Werner's play to offer him a scholarship and he rewarded the Seminoles by playing in all 14 games as a true freshman, starting the last 27 games and finishing his three-year career with 99 tackles, 23 1/2 sacks, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 17 pass breakups.

Last season, Werner was so dominant he finished with 13 sacks and eight pass breakups that he was named the ACC's defensive player of the year.

Grigson and Pagano were convinced he was their guy even before leaving town to put Werner through a workout.

When they returned and took another look at the tape, they were convinced Werner could be the guy and when he was still around for the 24th pick, the high-fives began flying around the Colts' meeting room.

``We really look first and foremost at the player's `play speed,''' Grigson said. ``There have been a lot of players that have come off draft boards throughout the history of this league that didn't run great, they ran OK, they didn't run pedestrian times but they didn't blow anyone's barn doors off. But you put on the film and he's the first one off the ball every down, he's got great get-off, he can bend and his closing speed is excellent on film. So he plays the game at a higher rate of speed. He just doesn't run 40 yards and I don't think he's going to have to rush the passer in that type of measurement.''

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Tyler EifertJul 30 03:23p

Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert said he is 100% healthy for the first time since the beginning of last offseason.

LeGarrette BlountJul 30 01:22p

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount was placed on the Non-Football Injury list because he was not able to complete the conditioning test at the start of training camp. [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJul 30 01:02p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (hamstring) said his hamstrings are fine and that he is 100% healthy entering training camp.

Terrance WestJul 30 12:52p

Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West worked with the first-team offense during team drills Thursday, July 30. Head coach Mike Pettine said several running backs will see time with the starters during training camp.

Trent RichardsonJul 30 10:22a

Oakland Raiders RB Trent Richardson is rumored to being unimpressive with his new team.

Tom BradyJul 30 10:12a

Updating an ongoing story, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's lawsuit was transferred to Manhattan, N.Y., by a Minnesota judge Friday, July 30.

Tom BradyJul 30 09:52a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has filed a lawsuit against the NFL asking a Minnesota federal court for penalties against Brady to be vacated. The suit alleges that [ More ]

Jake LongJul 30 09:42a

Free-agent OT Jake Long (Rams) left his visit with the New York Giants Wednesday, July 29, without a deal. It was his second visit with the team without a [ More ]

Joseph RandleJul 29 08:43p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle received strong praise from team owner and general manager Jerry Jones Wednesday July 29. 'We have a player (in Randle) that has the potential [ More ]

Joique BellJul 29 07:23p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (undisclosed) was placed on the physically unable to perform list Wednesday, July 29, as he recovers from offseason surgery. It is unclear what the [ More ]

James WrightJul 29 06:43p

Free-agent WR James Wright (Bengals) was placed on Reserve/Injured Wednesday, July 29.

Jordan ReedJul 29 05:43p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (knee) has been cleared for full participation in training camp, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Chase CoffmanJul 29 04:53p

Free-agent TE Chase Coffman (Titans) re-signed with the Tennessee Titans Wednesday, July 29, according to a source.

Jason Pierre-PaulJul 29 04:33p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (finger) can be placed on the Non-Football Injury list if/when he signs his franchise tender. Owner John Mara said the team would like [ More ]

Jason Pierre-PaulJul 29 04:23p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (finger) is receiving his own medical treatment and rehabilitation at his home. There is currently no timetable for his return. Pierre-Paul, however, could [ More ]

Roddy WhiteJul 29 03:43p

Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White (knee) had his left knee drained before minicamp, and he could have it drained again before the season ends. White isn't concerned about it, [ More ]

Ryan KerriganJul 29 01:43p

Washington Redskins LB Ryan Kerrigan signed a five-year contract extension Wednesday, July 29, worth $11.5 million per season, according to a source. The deal includes a $16 million signing bonus.

Cyrus GrayJul 29 01:13p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Cyrus Gray was released Wednesday, July 29.

Carlos HydeJul 29 11:13a

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde is not believed to be injured and shouldn't be on the non-football injury list for long. Hyde suffered a calf injury during spring [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 29 09:23a

Updating previous reports, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady posted on Facebook that he replaced his broken phone with a new one after his attorneys told the NFL 'my [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 29 01:53a

Updating a previous report, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady could have had his suspended reduced based on a series of conditions. According to a source with knowledge of [ More ]

Eric BerryJul 29 01:43a

Kansas City Chiefs SS Eric Berry (illness) has been cleared to take the practice field with the team Wednesday, July 29. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in December [ More ]

Geno SmithJul 28 08:03p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith could be benched if he struggles early in the season, according to head coach Todd Bowles Tuesday, July 28. 'If you feel that [ More ]

Ryan WilliamsJul 28 05:53p

Dallas Cowboys RB Ryan Williams (knee) was placed on Reserve/Injured Tuesday, July 28.

Brodrick BunkleyJul 28 05:43p

New Orleans Saints DT Brodrick Bunkley (undisclosed) was released with a failed physical designation Tuesday, July 28.

James WrightJul 28 05:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR James Wright (knee) was waived with an injured designation Tuesday, July 28.

Darrin ReavesJul 28 05:33p

Carolina Panthers RB Darrin Reaves was waived Tuesday, July 28.

Tom BradyJul 28 05:13p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is facing a four-game suspension, but the Patriots have done fairly well without him. In games Brady has missed since he became a [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 28 04:53p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has given permission to the NFL Players Association to appeal his case in federal court, according to a source. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell [ More ]

Lamar MillerJul 28 03:43p

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller may see an increase in carries in 2015, according to head coach Joe Philbin. 'If he's cranking and he got it 24 times a [ More ]

Le'Veon BellJul 28 03:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell's original three-game suspension has been reduced to a two-game suspension Tuesday, July 28.

Tom BradyJul 28 02:53p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's four-game suspension has been upheld by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell Tuesday, July 28.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group