The connection was immediate.

Coach Chuck Pagano was looking for the Indianapolis Colts’ next pass-rush threat, perhaps the player to replace Dwight Freeney. He was on the campus of Florida State University, working out Seminoles’ defensive end Bjoern Werner.

Click.

“I just connected with coach Pagano when he worked me out a few weeks ago,” Werner said in a conference call with local media Thursday night. “I said, ‘I wish they would draft me.’

“And it happened.”

The Colts were intent on strengthening a defense that ranked No. 26 in total yards allowed and No. 31 in rushing yards allowed last season. A pass rush that generated only 32 sacks also needed a boost, especially with the free agent departure of Freeney.

General manager Ryan Grigson didn’t hesitate when he was on the clock with the 24th pick in Thursday night’s NFL draft.

“He’s a (heck) of a football player,’’ Grigson said. “Thirteen sacks (last season). ACC Player of the Year. Put on the film and he jumps off the screen at you.

“This guy is productive, plays hard. He fits coach’s mold.”

Pagano made it clear the 6-4, 255-pound Werner was headed for a position change. Almost exclusively a 4-3 end at Florida State, he’ll be an outside linebacker in the Colts’ 3-4 scheme.

“First and second down ... he’s an edge-setter,” Pagano said. “We always talk about those guys being able to set the edge in the run game. He can certainly do that.

“Then he’s a dynamic pass rusher. We needed to address that and it just so happened that we addressed that and he’s the highest player on the board at the time.”