Colts select DE Bjoern Werner with 24th pick of NFL Draft
The Indianapolis Colts have selected defensive end Bjoern Werner in the NFL Draft.
The Colts used the 24th overall pick to select the lineman from Florida State.
It's the first time the Colts have selected a true defensive end in the first round since taking Dwight Freeney with the 11th overall pick in 2002.
The choice gives Indy a potential pass-rushing replacement for Freeney, who is a free agent. He had 13 sacks in 2012.
"He's a dynamic pass rusher. He's a guy we knew we needed to address that and just so happened we addressed that and he was the highest player on the board at the time," said head coach Chuck Pagano.
"He's productive, plays hard," said general manager Ryan Grigson. "He's a team player that fits a coach's mold as a human being and as a football player."
After taking Andrew Luck with the No. 1 pick last season and surprising the football world with a nine-win improvement and a return to the playoffs, the Colts have shored up the offensive line by signing two free agents, replaced departed receiver Donnie Avery with former first-round pick Darrius Heyward-Bey and added six veteran free agents on defense.
The Colts have five more selections over the next two days of the draft.
(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)