STRENGTHS - A top level athlete with elite first step explosiveness, Werner makes it look easy beating the OT to the corner/turn-point. When he turns corner sharply he has an explosive closing burst to the QB to finish the sack. His combination of good playing strength, excellent technique, quick change of direction ability and competitiveness let him beat pass blocker with a variety of pass rush moves. Despite often being out-weighed by 50+ pounds, he is able to jolt and drive OT backwards into QB's lap when he bull rushes. A dominant player against OL run blocks, Werner defeats block on run to his side and has a burst to ball to finish play. Accelerating to full speed in a flash and possessing great top level speed, Werner consistently is able to track down ball carriers in backside pursuit. For a player who has only been playing football since his junior season in high school, Werner's instincts and awareness are uncommon and way beyond his years.
WEAKNESSES - Werner needs to maintain better pad level and tighten up his footwork in order to turn the corner more consistently when he beats the OT to the turn-point. Having played down as a defensive end most of his college career, Werner would need a lot of work to adjust to playing off the LOS as an outside linebacker in a 34 scheme.
SUMMARY - An underclassman, Werner jumped off the film and made so many big plays against North Carolina State that I immediately knew he would have to consider coming out early for the Draft. A strong and well built player, Werner dominates run blockers at the POA in order to consistently make tackles on runs to his side of the field. Unlike many players who play so aggressively on every snap, Werner does not get sucked in by miss-direction plays and carries out his responsibility easily. Overall, the more I evaluated Werner, the more his play reminded me of current Rams' defensive end Chris Long and I think Werner can be as good in the NFL as Long. If he is drafted by a team that plays a 43 scheme he should start from day one, but if he goes to a team that runs a 34 defense he will likely be a backup as a rookie who makes a big impact when he becomes a starting OLB in his second season.