Rookie Indianapolis Colts linebacker Bjoern Werner is coming into the NFL with a lot of expectations as he was a consensus All-American last year, and was taken 24th overall in this past year’s NFL Draft. He is a converted college defensive end, and will try to fill the void that was left after the Colts opted not to retain Dwight Freeney‘s services in favor of a youth movement.
He is coming off his junior year with Florida State, where he had 42 total tackles, 18 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. He is a good-sized pass rusher (6-foot-3, 266 pounds) and should be an excellent compliment to veteran Robert Mathis. Similar to Mathis, Werner had Tank Carradine (who went to the San Francisco 49ers).
Also, unlike most true pass rushers, Werner will learn both outside linebacker positions under defensive coordinator Greg Manusky. This is a good thing for Werner and the Colts’ defense as versatility is a huge positive since a player could then line up virtually everywhere and be a threat to opposing defenses.
If he lines up at the rush linebacker spot, bigger left tackles might have trouble with his speed and more athletic left tackles might have problems with his sheer strength.
It should be interesting to see how Bjoern Warner plays in 2013 for the Colts, since most defensive ends/rush linebackers struggle in year one as they need to get acclimated to the speed of the pro level.