Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Bjoern Werner was supposed to be the
Florida State defensive end selected in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Once a top-five prospect, Werner has been slowing moving down on most draft
boards as concerns over his burst and closing speed off the edge start to seep
in with various scouts.
That said, Werner's non-stop motor will more than likely earn him a spot as
one of the top 32 players selected on April 25 at New York City's famed Radio
City Music Hall. He also might have some company, though.
Just as Werner began to fall this spring, his teammate with the Seminoles,
Cornelius "Tank" Carradine, started opening some eyes.
A healthy Carradine, who is coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament
suffered in the Seminoles' season finale against Florida, is regarded by most
as a first-round talent. His draft status, however, will depend on the
condition of his surgically repaired knee, something he will test at a workout
in Cincinnati on Saturday just four months out from his surgery.
"It was a real difficult, coming out because of an injury to Brandon
(Jenkins), then ended up starting, then I get hurt," Carradine said when
taking about his 2012 season. "I ended up playing the whole season and I think
I did a pretty good job of helping my team out, even though I got hurt."
Carradine was unable to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine or Florida
State's pro day, although he did lift in Tallahassee, putting up 225 pounds an
impressive 32 times.
He's expected to run the 40-yard dash and perform some positional drills in
Cincinnati for scouts and coaches in a last-ditch effort to prove he is worth
investing a first-round pick in.
The Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens and NFC kingpin San Francisco 49ers
are among several NFL teams scheduled to take a look at Carradine on the
weekend before the draft.
Adrian Peterson's remarkable return from a torn anterior cruciate ligament
last season magnifies just how far treatment of knee injuries has advanced
since the turn of the century.
A torn ACL was once regarded as a devastating, potentially career-changing
injury, especially for players who rely on tremendous athleticism like
The timetable for a torn ACL was once a full calendar year with most doctors
agreeing an athlete would need a full two years before feeling like themselves
Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings star running back, returned just nine months
after his injury and compiled one of the best seasons in NFL history en route
to winning MVP honors.
Taking no chances, Carradine has been working out in Houston with the same
physical therapist who monitored Peterson's amazing recovery, and plenty of
NFL teams have taken an interest in his status.
Carradine has already had personal visits with the Philadelphia Eagles,
Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots. He reportedly interviewed with 17
different teams at the combine and some mock draft have him coming off the
board as high as No. 19 overall to the New York Giants.
"I hear stuff," Carradine said when asked about his possible landing spot. "I
really don't pay it no attention, I know with my knee situation you never know
how things are going to work out."
Regarded as a scheme-versatile prospect by most, Carradine could fit in as an
outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense or continue to excel as a traditional
defensive end in a 4-3 like he played at Florida State. His size -- 6-foot-4
and 275 pounds with the frame to add more weight -- make the 4-3 a better fit,
When healthy, Carradine flashed an impressive first step and was able to use
his lengthy arms well in an effort to beat blocks. He also showed the
flexibility to dip under a tackle's reach and the closing speed some think
"I'm a guy that's got a motor, a guy that is physical against the run,
disruptive against the pass, and a guy that can shoot through gaps, and a guy
that's just all over the field," Carradine said when asked about his
strengths as a player.
There is still work to be done and some consider Carradine a bit raw since
most of his experience came in the junior college ranks. He is also
overpowered at times in the trenches and needs to read snap counts a little
better, something Carradine recognizes.
"I think (I need to work on) refining my technique and everything, just
working on getting a little quicker off the ball."
In the end, though, Tank's position in the draft will be dictated by his
knee, and how healthy it looks over the weekend.
"I'm healed and I'm ready to go for this year," the possible first-round pick
THE 2013 NFL DRAFT: TSN'S TOP DEFENSIVE ENDS:
1. - Ezekiel Ansah, BYU
2. - Bjoern Werner, Florida State
3. - Tank Carradine, Florida State
4. - Datone Jones, UCLA
5. - Margus Hunt, SMU
6. - Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
7. - Sam Montgomery, LSU
8. - Lavar Edwards, LSU
9. - Alex Okafor, Texas
10. - Cornelius Washington, Georgia
SKILL REPORT: THE DEFENSIVE ENDS
Best Edge Rusher: Ezekiel Ansah, BYU
Best Bull Rusher: Sam Montgomery, LSU
Best 3-4 end: Datone Jones, UCLA
Best Run Stopper: Damion Square, Alabama
Best Motor: Bjoern Werner, Florida State
Fastest: Cornelius Washington, Georgia
Underrated: John Simon, Ohio State
THE 2013 NFL DRAFT: TSN'S TOP DEFENSIVE TACKLES:
1. - Star Loutulelei, Utah
2. - Shariff Floyd, Florida
3. - Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
4. - Sylvester Williams, North Carolina
5. - Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State
6. - John Jenkins, Georgia
7. - Jesse Williams, Alabama
8. - Kawann Short, Purdue
9. - Akeem Spence, Illinois
10. - Brandon Williams, Missouri Southern
SKILL REPORT: THE DEFENSIVE TACKLES
Best Pass Rusher: Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
Best Run Stopper: Star Loutulelei, Utah
Best Nose Tackle: Star Loutulelei, Utah
Best Motor: Brandon Williams, Missouri Southern
Quickest: Shariff Floyd, Florida
Underrated: Brandon Williams, Missouri Southern
The Sports Network