Florida State junior defensive end Bjoern Werner will forgo his senior season and enter the 2013 NFL Draft, according to a report by ESPN's Joe Schad. Werner joins cornerback Xavier Rhodes as Seminoles who have decided to leave Tallahassee early for the NFL.
Werner is NFLDraftScout's No. 1-ranked defensive end for April's draft and is currently the No. 2 overall prospect on the draft board, behind Texas A&M OT Luke Joeckel. For a look at where he might fit in the top-five, check out the mock draft analysis.
A native of Berlin, Germany, Werner played two seasons of high school football as an exchange student before arriving at Florida State. He played in every game for the Seminoles for the last three years, including the past two as a starter. Werner finished the 2012 season with an ACC-best 13.0 sacks and team-high 18.0 tackles for loss, adding 40 tackles and seven pass break-ups.
With his combination of quickness and strength, Werner's play is reminiscent of St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long, who was drafted second overall in the 2008 NFL Draft. Listed at 6-foot-4 and 255 pounds, Werner has good get-off quickness and bend to beat blockers off the snap. He has room to improve his motor and chase skills against the run, but his natural instincts and upside makes him an attractive pass-rushing prospect for teams selecting in the top-five.