Now this may seem like a silly question. He has only had two seasons in the NFL and he didn’t start playing organized football until much later in his life. So we should cut him slack for that right? Wrong. This isn’t some project player like Daniel Adongo is for the Colts. If Adongo doesn’t work out then there is much lost there. If Werner doesn’t work out then they had wasted a first round pick on someone that should have been taken in the third round.
Werner has been hit by the injury bug since entering into the NFL as well and I know that is not something he can really help. However what he could help is what he does with the time he has healthy. I think many people knew that Grigson drafted this guy to be the heir apparent to Mathis when Robert decided to call it a career. Boy was Grigs way off on this one. Werner has been outplayed by a sixth round pick in Jonathan Newsome. Newsome had such a great rookie season splitting time with Werner as the rush linebacker that if Mathis doesn’t come back right away this season then I see Newsome starting there and not Werner. Almost every person that has been ahead of Werner on the depth chart has outplayed him. Newsome did more with fewer snaps last year than Werner did all season long.
Now before people start to get up in arms about how could I say this about a guy who didn’t have all that experience when he was younger to pull from now. I get that. I know there was going to be a learning curve with Werner. Mathis going down though made that curve a hell of a lot smaller and he didn’t step up to the plate.
Newsome and Walden did though. The Colts 2013 first round pick was and has been mediocre at best so far. This season is make or break time for Werner. If he wants to keep his NFL dream alive then he is going to have to avoid the injury bug and play like a crazed mad man this season. He has to compete now with Walden, Newsome, Mathis (when he returns, and Trent Cole all ahead of him right now on the depth chart. When Werner gets his chance he is going to have to make those plays that Grigson and his scouting department saw him make at Florida State or he will find his way out of the league very quickly.
I sometimes wonder if this is a Jerry Hughes situation. Hughes wasn’t a fit here or if you see if from a different viewpoint, wasn’t given much of a chance here in Indy. He went to Buffalo and now is thriving in one of the scariest defenses the NFL has to offer. Werner could be in that boat as well. If that is the case I would much rather trade Werner now and get some value from him than trade for another linebacker who couldn’t play his way out of a wet paper bag like the team did when they got rid of Hughes.
Whatever the case may be, the Colts can’t sit and hold Werner’s hand any longer. It’s time for him to take off the pull-up and go out there and earn his keep. If he cannot then we will finally be able to label him a bust and ship him out of here permanently.