INDIANAPOLIS — It may have taken awhile, but the Indianapolis Colts made their first round pick of the 2013 National Football League a good one.
Nearly three hours after the draft got underway at 8 p.m., the Colts selected Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner. The 6-foot-3, 266-pound defensive lineman can also play left outside linebacker.
Indianapolis general manager Ryan Grigson had said last week that he would consider moving down and out of the first round if the player the Colts wanted wasn’t there. But that didn’t happen.
According to Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano, the versatile Werner was the guy that they had their sights set on from the get-go. They felt lucky that he was still around when the 24th overall came around.
“He’s a hell of a football player. Thirteen sacks [last season for the Seminoles], [Atlantic Coast Conference] Player of the Year. You turn on the film and he jumps off the screen at you,” the second-year Colts general manager said.
“He’s one of those guys you watch and immediately say he’s not going to be there [when the Colts made their first round pick].”
A slow 40-yard dash time (4.8) at February’s National Football Scouting Combine may have caused other NFL teams to push Werner further down their list of prospective players. But what transpired at the combine didn’t bother Grigson, Pagano or the rest of the Colts’ player personnel department.
“You take the combine with a grain of salt. It factors, but you shouldn’t let a great player slide by because he didn’t blow out a great 40 time,” This guy is productive, plays hard. Eight batted passes [last] year I believe plus 13 sacks. A ton of [tackles for loss]. He’s a team player too. He fits [Pagano’s] mold as a human being and a football player,” Grigson quickly pointed out.