Anonymous scouts take aim at Bjoern Werner


It’s late February.  The Combine is unfolding.  And that means it’s time for scouts to rip or praise players under the cloak of anonymity.

Plenty of writers who publish assessments made by unnamed scouts are now ridiculed when doing so.  The pedigree and accomplishments of Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel tend to insulate him from scrutiny, even when his unnamed scouts swing and miss on players like Robert Griffin III.  (Heck, McGinn can even publish Wonderlic numbers without being vilified.)

McGinn assesses the players who could be available when the Packers use their first-round pick, and he shares the insights of a pair of unnamed scouts regarding Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner, a German-born-and-bred prospect who is now poised to fulfill the very unlikely dream of being a first-round draft pick in the NFL.

“He’s good, but I don’t see the special in him,” one unnamed scout said. “Kind of a try-hard, good football player but nothing special.”

Said another:  “He’s not a dynamic pass rusher but he seems to get sacks.  He comes off the ball hard but he’s not special.”

Without knowing anything about the team(s) for which these scouts work, there’s no way of knowing whether they’re badmouthing Werner in the hopes that he’ll be available when their team(s) pick.  That’s how it works.  Teams that love a player say bad things about him, wishing for a free fall.  Teams that hate a guy say great things about him, hopeful he’ll be taken early — pushing down the board players in which the team is actually interested.

With more and more media swarming around the pre-draft process, there’s always someone ready to publish these anonymous assessments.

But citing an “unnamed scout” tells the audience nothing about the skills or credentials of the scout.  As the late George Carlin used to say (as Carlin himself would say, he’s saying nothing now), there’s a worst doctor in the world — and someone has an appointment with him tomorrow.  Similarly, there are plenty of scouts who aren’t as skilled as others.  Any time an unnamed scout is being quoted, there’s a chance that he’s the worst of them all.

You know, like the ones who told McGinn last year that, as to RG3, “[e]verybody is just assuming because of the Heisman and the socks and all that bs. . . . they are ignoring a lot of bad tape that he’s had,” that “I don’t think he has vision or pocket feel, which to me are the two most important components of quarterbacking,” that “[h]e’s just running around winging it,” that “[h]e’s [Michael] Vick, but not as good a thrower,” that “he’s not as good as Cam Newton,” that “[a]s much as is written about his athleticism, his athleticism under duress in the pocket isn’t even close to Cam Newton’s,” that “the only way he gets big plays with his feet is if he’s got a wide-open field and the sea opens for him,” that “[h]e’s got a little bit of a selfish streak, too,” and that “[h]e doesn’t treat anybody good.”

Or maybe these unnamed scouts are just good enough to know how to push lies in the hopes of advancing agendas.

21 responses to “Anonymous scouts take aim at Bjoern Werner

  1. That’s pretty obvious about Werner. But at least he will be workmanlike. What’s the deal with Ansah? That is just silliness. He doesn’t know football, doesn’t like football, and he is 25 years old already.

    DaMonster is DaMan.

  2. Unnamed scout Agenda A: Let’s get this guy’s draft status to drop so my client get’s picked higher.

    Unnamed Scout Agenda B: Let’s get this guy’s draft status to drop so our team has a better chance at picking him.

  3. “He trys hard and gets sacks, but he’s not special.”.

    Pretty sure alot of GM’s would take the first two without the fairy dust at the end.

  4. As a Jags fan – alot of people down here are talking about him at #2.
    You have GOT to be kidding me. He did not dominate at all in college. Good player – can help a team? Sure….
    #2 Overall? not even close.

  5. How often does a “special” player last until the end of the first round. I know you can find special players everywhere in the draft but the odds drop significantly after the first half of the 1st round IMO.

    Like another commentor said, I’ll take a guy that tries hard and get sacks but hes not special at 26.

  6. Scout (former NFL bust himself); “You got a feel for this kid?”

    Reporter (never played the game); “I think he’ll be a bust.”

    Scout; um, me too. Thanks.

  7. I don’t understand the love for McGinn outside of Milwaukee. I’ve never been a fan, I tend to disagree with him a lot. Also I can’t get past 95-96 when he would kinda rip the packers all season just to basically say I told you so when they made the Super Bowl. Journal Sentinal sports page is weak

  8. How much stock should you really put into the words of an “unnamed source”. I feel if a guy doesn’t not have the guts to put his name on it then don’t say it. I have seen a few FSU games and the eye test says Werner can play. Not all great players have that “special something” some guys just use their heads and work hard to become successful. I see those qualities in Bjoern Werner. If he continues to learn and grow as a player the sky is the limit.

  9. I love how people who never really watch Florida State (nor tape) are co-signing this nonsense. The guy has the intangibles to be a stalwart DE. It could very well be the typical smear campaign, hoping that he falls to them (Packers, as they have zero pass rush outside of Matthews), knowing he is otherwise going before they select in the first round.

  10. The draft is littered with players not dubbed “special”. It’s about production. I’ll take a 6th round Tom Brady and undrafted Arian Foster as my starters over #10 pick Blaine Gabbert and #12 pick Ryan Mathews.

  11. Has someone dug up Rudy Martzke?

    Can’t believe a reporter is being called on ethics, even a sports reporter at that…

    Don’t always agree with Florio, but I respect his take on this story…

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