As the Indianapolis Colts move through OTAs and closer to training camp, RantSports.com will be bringing you player profiles for many of the team’s players. We’ll focus mainly on new acquisitions, and on those players who will be on the roster bubble. In this installment for the Colts, we’ll take a look at first round draft pick Bjoern Werner.
By now most fans know Werner’s story – an exchange student from Germany that learned of American football through the Madden game series, who eventually wound up at FSU, and emerged on the scene as a defensive end. Safe to say, Werner has been living the American dream for several years now, but his ride has been taken to the next level after being selected by the Colts in the first round.
It’s already been established that Werner will play as an outside linebacker in the Colts’ 3-4 defensive scheme, which will be an adjustment from his days at FSU. The 4-3 d-end, and the 3-4 OLB, are equivalent positions, but there’s no doubt a substantial learning curve involved in changing. Most players claim the transition to playing upright is difficult, but over time you have to figure it just becomes natural.
Hopes are going to be pretty high for Werner in his first season. Dwight Freeney is no longer on the roster, and there’s a lot of production to be made up for. Fans will expect the first round pick to come in and be a difference-maker, right away. He doesn’t need to burst on the scene as a premiere pass-rusher right out of the gate, but he’ll need to tally up sacks on a regular basis to keep Indianapolis fans happy.
Werner is essentially Freeney’s replacement, and it won’t be an easy task to fill the shoes of one of the franchise’s all-time greats. We’ll have to watch the newly converted linebacker to see how he’s progressing in his new NFL system, but I think he’ll be up to the task. Werner is still very green, and the most important thing, is that the physical attributes all seem to be there. Now it will just be a matter of him adapting to the pro game.
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