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Colts take pass rusher with pick

Werner

And the roulette wheel comes up … Bjoern Werner.

In as unreadable an NFL draft as there has been in recent years – heavy on nuts and bolts, light on marquee quality – the Indianapolis Colts came to Thursday’s first round unreadable themselves, with a laundry list of possible options. Would they go for an outside pass rusher to replace the departed Dwight Freeney? An offensive lineman in a deep draft for linemen? A shutdown corner? A wide receiver, looking toward the day when Reggie Wayne calls it quits?

They took door No. 1.

They took Werner out of Florida State, a 6-foot-4, 255-pound defensive end who made everyone’s All-America team and ranked third in the nation in total sacks in 2012 with 13. A native of Berlin, he played just two years of high school football in the U.S., but in three seasons at Florida State compiled 35 tackles for loss, 23.5 sacks, 18 passes defended, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

In just 27 career starts at Florida State, Werner moved into the top 10 all time in tackles for loss, and over the last two seasons recorded a sack or tackle for loss in 17 of those 27 starts.

He had at least one tackle in 34 straight games.

Among others still on the board, they bypassed wide receivers Robert Woods of USC, Cordarelle Patterson and Justin Hunter of Tennessee and De’Andre Hopkins of Clemson; cornerback Xavier Rhodes of Florida State; linebacker Manti Te’o of Notre Dame; and running back Eddie Lacy of Alabama to take Werner.

bensmith@jg.net

Photo gallery

  • For photos from the NFL 1st round selections, click here.

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