As training camp is roughly a month away, rookie linebacker Pete Werner is focused on getting better and learning every day.
After being selected with the 60th overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, Werner has dived headfirst into the NFL.
"There's a lot I still need to learn and I'm going to continue to do that every day," Werner said during his Saints Mini Camp interview with local media, "every day I'm looking more and more at each little assignment…I'm just so busy on trying to learn the playbook and be in the right alignment, looking for specific keys and tendencies based off of what I'm getting from the offense, so I'll continue to learn that up until training camp."
The 6-foot-3, 242-pounder graduated from Ohio State University after playing four seasons (2017-2020) for the Buckeyes. Werner totaled 185 tackles (111 solo), 16 tackles for a loss, 13 passes defended, four forced fumbles and four sacks at the Will linebacker position. Werner mentioned there are some similarities between college and the NFL, but knows the game is much different at the higher level.
"As far as alignments and things like that, I was a Will (linebacker) in college so there's a little bit of carryover, but as far as the defense and the whole perspective regarding that, there's a lot of differences."
The Saints linebacker position will be a heavily watched position come training camp as New Orleans looks to let the 'best man win.'
When asked how drafting Pete Werner might affect the reps of Zack Baun, Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen said:
"The thing I'm excited about is that when we get to training camp we're going to let those young guys get out there and let them compete. May the best man win. I don't think we've pigeonholed anybody into any specific spots necessarily, we're really just trying to evaluate guys and certainly, that will come once we get into training camp, but it will be a nice little battle."
The Saints have endured a bit of turnover over the past couple of seasons at the linebacker position, but ever since veteran Demario Davis joined the Black & Gold in 2018, he has solidified his position as a leader in this organization on and off the field.
"He's a great guy," Werner said, "You always want to be around him. I'm just trying to pick his brain, learn as much as possible, but he's very intense, strict about his business and he's a guy that you're going to trust to lead this team, lead this defense. Being as close as possible to him as far as learning this defense and picking up as much as I can as far as fundamentals is where I'm going to go."
2021 NFL draft photos of New Orleans Saints 2nd round draft pick Pete Werner, linebacker from Ohio St.