Over the next few months leading up to the 2013 NFL Draft, we will take a look at some of the prospects that best fit with the Jacksonville Jaguars. While scheme changes could be on the horizon, we will look at a variety of prospects that fit into different draft ranges and fill different needs. We start today with Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner.
Over the last two seasons, the Jaguars have mustered a total of 51 sacks. That's not nearly good enough to compete in the NFL. The Jaguars' lack of a pass rush can be traced to the team's lack of a dominant pass rushing defensive end for their 4-3 defense, which has been a glaring weakness on this team for far too long.
With the No. 2 overall pick in a draft full of quality pass rushers, the Jaguars may finally be able to fix that long standing problem. Of the group of pass rushers in this year's draft, Florida State junior defensive end Bjoern Werner may be the best, particularly if the team sticks with its base 4-3 front. He's 6-feet-4-inches tall, weighs 255 pounds and collected 13 sacks this season.
What he does well
Werner is an explosive pass rusher off the snap. He possesses ideal length for the defensive end position and always seems to fly off the ball. The combination of his length and explosive first step makes him a handful for any offensive tackle. Add to that his ability to bend around the edge, and Werner possesses the skill set to wreak havoc as a speed rusher.
He's not strictly a speed rusher, though. Werner also has the strength to be a dangerous bull rusher as well. He plays with solid leverage and pad level, using his hands well to disengage from blocks and keep defenders out of his pads. That strength gives his game balance, and he should be able to stay on the field on running downs early in his career. He has the ability to put tackles on their heals while disengaging at the perfect time to make plays in the backfield. He also holds the point of attack well for a defensive end. Werner's balance as a player is what makes 4-3 defensive end his best fit at the next level.
What he could improve on
Despite common perception, Werner doesn't have the best motor. He has a tendency to disappear for stretches of games, struggling to put together a full 60 minutes of football. His lack of motor is most glaring when he's in pursuit of ball carriers down field. He really doesn't get after the ball carrier consistently enough to impress.
Why the Jaguars could take him
The Jaguars have quite a few needs to fill on draft day and in free agency. Defensive end is one of the most glaring, despite the presence of Jason Babin and the early selection the team spent on Andre Branch a year. Werner would fit perfectly into the 4-3 defense, and if the team doesn't deem a quarterback worthy of the No. 2 pick, the front seven will likely be addressed. There are obviously a handful of front seven prospects that would be worth the pick, but Werner seems to be one of the leading candidates at this point in the process.