A foreign-exchange student, Werner didn't begin playing football until he was 15, instantly falling in love with the sport. He bounced between Germany and the U.S. during high school before deciding to play at Florida State, choosing the Seminoles over Oregon.
Werner saw limited action as a true freshman backup in 2010 with 20 tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. He was named one of the team MVPs the following spring and earned a starting job at left defensive end.
Werner turned heads as a sophomore starter, making a name for himself as both a pass rusher and run stuffer with his strong, but fast style of play. He finished 2011 with 11.0 tackles for loss and 7.0 sacks, just behind Brandon Jenkins for the team lead in both categories.
With Jenkins injured early in the season, Tank Carradine emerged as a force on the right side for the Seminoles until he also suffered a season-ending injury. Through the changes on the other side, Werner continued to rack up big numbers, including an ACC-best 13.0 sacks and a team-high 18 tackles for loss to go with 42 tackles overall and eight pass breakups.
That production came on the heels of an offseason in which Werner dropped 20 pounds, from the 275 he played at as a junior to 255 entering the '12 campaign and playing in the 260-265 range.
"Last year, after five plays, I was tired. Now I can go 20 plays, and I'm not tired at all," Werner said in August. "That was 10 pounds straight of fat. What's that going to do for me?"
A likely top 20 selection, Werner announced he would forego his final year of eligibility shortly after Florida State won the Orange Bowl.
"I'm grateful to Coach (Jimbo) Fisher and Florida State for giving me the opportunity to be a Seminole and play for one of the top college football programs in the country," Werner said. "I've learned so much from the coaches especially Coach (D.J.) Eliot and have been able to play with some of the best players in the country.
"After sitting down with my wife Denise and gathering as much information, I've decided to move on and enter the NFL Draft. I've enjoyed my time at FSU and will cherish the time I spent as a Seminole."
Werner closed his career with 35 tackles for loss, 23.5 sacks, 18 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in just two seasons.
WEAKNESSES: Lacks elite length for the position and doesn't have the natural start/stop explosion of some pass rushers. Will lose leverage at times, especially off the snap when he gets too high out of his stance. Has improved his awareness against the run, but still has room to improve his ability to sift through the trash and defeat off-balance blocks.
Motor tends to run hot/cold at times, especially late in games or if the play isn't to his side of the field. Needs to consistently finish when he gets his hands on the ballcarrier. Has a history of minor injuries, including a left hand issue that bothered him this past season.
COMPARES TO: Chris Long, DE, St. Louis Rams - Both have a combination of quickness and strength combined with a nonstop motor to consistently pressure the pocket off the edge.