2013 NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Predicting Picks 22-32

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Oct 13, 2012; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive end Bjoern Werner (95) during the second half of the game against the Boston College Eagles at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

23. Minnesota Vikings-Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

Bjoern Werner’s stock has taken a hit, but he’s still a remarkable talent that the Vikings can’t miss.

Werner, who finished 2012 with 13 sacks, is a premier pass rusher who has the ability to make a game-changing play. Minnesota’s three top defensive ends (Jared Allen, Everson Griffin and Brian Robison) will be free agents in 2014, and they need a replacement. Werner is a player who can step into that role while allowing the Vikings to pursue someone else in free agency (as opposed to spending money on one of these three defensive ends).

Minnesota ranked fifth in sacks in 2012, but they were also 24th in pass defense. If Werner can hurry the quarterback, he can hurry throws and help the pass defense. Minnesota needs to upgrade the secondary, but the safety class is very deep, and a good safety will be available in the second round. Minnesota could also go for a safety in with their second first round pick as secondary is a big need. However, Werner is very talented and if he’s here, the Vikings will waste no time and take him.