Ohio State linebacker Pete Werner became the second Buckeye selected in the 2021 NFL Draft, going in the second round, No. 60 overall by the New Orleans Saints.
Werner finished his Ohio State career with 185 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, four sacks, 11 pass breakups, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries across 47 games played.
Last season, Werner led the Buckeyes with 54 tackles (28 solo), and added 2 1/2 TFL, a sack, a pass breakup and a pair of forced fumbles.
In his annual draft guide, Dane Brugler of The Athletic compliments Werner’s athleticism and vision as a linebacker, while emphasizing the need for consistency at the next level.
A three-year starter at Ohio State, Werner played strongside and weakside linebacker in defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs’ scheme. From rolling back into coverage to gap blitzing, he was asked to do a little bit of everything as the Buckeyes tinkered with their defense, allowing him to show off his versatility from various alignments. Werner is an athletic, heady player with great eyes, which allows him to play at full speed as a blitzer or chaser. I wish he were more of a playmaker in coverage, but he is smooth in his drops with a natural sense for play development. Overall, Werner needs to clean up some inconsistent tendencies, but he has outstanding lateral range and his sights are always on the football. He projects as a versatile linebacker with four-down potential.Via Dane Brugler of The Athletic
The Saints are no strangers to Buckeyes. Cornerback Marshon Lattimore, safety Malcolm Jenkins, wide receiver Michael Thomas and safety Vonn Bell, among others, have made their way through New Orleans in recent years. Werner will join Lattimore on the Saints defense and looks to slot in as an immediate contributor at linebacker.