Defense will be the focus for the Lions this offseason and defensive end may end up being the biggest need. Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch has already been released and Cliff Avril and Lawrence Jackson are unrestricted free agents. Most of the Lions’ funds are tied to their big three in Matthew Stafford, Ndamukong Suh and Calvin Johnson.
Without the ability to spend big, the best bang for the buck comes through the draft. The Lions’ defense is predicated off pressure from the defensive line and with so many possible departures the Lions need a player who can start from day one. Bjoern Werner could start right away and he would be an immediate upgrade over what the Lions got from Kyle Vanden Bosch.
Traits and Projected Round
Werner has average size, 6’4″ 256 lbs, but has great athleticism, quickness off the edge, and a high motor. Werner is relatively new to football and is coming off his most productive season where he registered 13 sacks, 18 tackles for loss (42 total tackles), and 8 pass break ups. Another plus for scouts is his college resume. He has steadily improved each season racking up 3.5 sacks his first year, 11.o his second, finally 13.o in his third season. Werner’s steady improvement, new physique (lost 20 lbs last off-season), and the fact that he’s relatively new to football indicates a high upside. Werner is currently projected as a top five pick and could go as high as number two.
Why the Lions Should Draft Werner
Defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham covets speed on the outside of his defensive line and Werner’s quickness off the edge is one of the reasons he was so dominant last season. With all the question marks surrounding the Lions’ defensive ends it’s likely the Lions will need to do something big and drafting Werner could be just that. Werner would be a nice outside complement to Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairely and could help get the defensive line back to the level of production we all expect.
The video below should not be watched by any quarterbacks as it could lead to nausea, vomiting, night terrors and possibly shooting pain throughout the body. *If you have speakers on your device enjoy the German music in this video. For those of you who are unaware Bjoern Werner moved to the United States from Germany when he was 15.