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Chris Borland | Linebacker

Team: Wisconsin Badgers
Ht / Wt:  5'11' / 242

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49ers selected Wisconsin ILB Chris Borland with the No. 77 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft.
Borland (5-foot-11 1/2, 248) earned 2013 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and set the conference record for career forced fumbles (15). His 420 tackles rank sixth in Wisconsin history, 50 of which went for a loss. A sure tackler with deceptive burst to the ball carrier, Borland has T-Rex arms (29 1/4") and lacks ideal speed (4.83), but overcomes limitations by just being good at football. Smart (32 Wonderlic score), and exceptionally instinctive, Borland projects as a future starting inside linebacker whose coverage deficiencies may have to be masked by scheme. He will likely rotate early with Michael Wilhoite until NaVorro Bowman gets back to full health. May 9 - 10:17 PM

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Date:

At least one NFL club removed Wisconsin ILB Chris Borland from its draft board due to his injured left shoulder.

Doctors on the mystery club's staff say the Badgers' star's left shoulder would require additional surgery. You can understand why that turns off the team, as Borland has already undergone two procedures on the shoulder. "The issue with his shoulder is that he had a repair and the screw has kind of slid down into the joint," an executive said. "So there's a feeling that he's going to have to have another surgery." Luckily for the prospects, other squads believe he'll be able to play through the pain. "Yes, Borland does have concerns with his shoulders, especially the one with the screw, but he is not a fail on our board," an executive for a different team said. "Just a concern. The guy is tough and rarely misses time, but the injuries are a concern because of the position he plays."
Apr 30 - 8:31 PM

Wisconsin LB Chris Borland debuted on Mel Kiper's Big Board at No. 25.

"If you look at him purely from a physical and athletic standpoint, you wouldn't consider Borland a first-round pick, but the tape tells another story," Kiper wrote. "Borland isn't just a clean-up tackler, he's an instinctive attacker of the backfield and a relentlessly instinctive player who can get on the field right away and make plays. I know there are teams that have a first-round grade on him." Every evaluation of Borland notes his instincts, which help him mask his limitations. He shows impressive pop and uses good technique to get separation.
Mar 20 - 4:16 PM

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler believes Wisconsin LB Chris Borland's "short arms" are a cause for concern.

"I don't care that Borland is short in stature, but it's the short arms that give me pause. Will struggle to stay clean and shed NFL blocks," Brugler tweeted. Brugler was very high on Borland's "instincts and intangibles" but also added that "Borland clearly has more strengths than weaknesses as a NFL prospect, but those negatives will be really tough to overcome." While Borland does not possess the ideal size or athleticism, he's a solid football player who wins with instincts and explosiveness. Borland should expect to have his name called on the second day of the draft.
Mar 10 - 9:46 PM

Wisconsin LB Chris Borland ran two forty times of 4.84 and 4.87 seconds at the school's pro day.

He also posted a 35-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot-8 broad jump. These two times are slightly slower than his official Combine time of 4.83 seconds, but Borland improved his vertical by four inches. Expect the longtime inside linebacker to be a second day pick.
Source: NFL.com
Mar 6 - 9:49 AM

Scouts Inc.'s Todd McShay mentioned that he worried about Wisconsin ILB Chris Borland's durability.

"Worry about Borland durability and wish longer arms(take-on/tackling). Dude's just a player, tho. Reads keys quick, then shot out of cannon," McShay Tweeted. While Borland doesn't have ideal size at the next level, he makes up for it with great instincts and explosiveness. The team that drafts Borland will have to hope that his instincts mask his limitations. He shows impressive pop and uses good technique to get separation. Borland is projected to go anywhere from the third to fourth round.
Feb 18 - 4:25 PM

Scouts Inc.'s Kevin Weidl called Wisconsin ILB Chris Borland an "absolute animal" versus Penn State and Ohio State.

"For anyone that thinks Chris Borland can't play because he's too small, please reference the PSU and OSU tapes," Weidl tweeted. Borland will get knocked by many teams because of his height and lack of length. We do appreciate how he attacks blockers with his hands to extend, but worry if he can consistently gain backfield vision in the NFL.
Feb 15 - 1:42 PM

Wisconsin's Chris Borland ranks as draft insider Tony Pauline's No. 1 ILB.

Borland draws a second- or third-round grade form Pauline. He is followed by UConn's Yawin Smallwood (third- to fourth-round), Stanford's Shayne Skov (fourth-round), Louisville's Preston Brown (fifth-round) and LSU's Lamin Barrow (fifth-round). It is worth pointing out Alabama's C.J. Mosley is listed among outside linebackers.
Feb 11 - 11:03 AM

NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah debuted Wisconsin ILB Chris Borland at No. 43 on his Top-50 rankings.

Jeremiah loves Borland's "outstanding instincts, range and production" and compliments his ability to sort through trash and find the pigskin in run support and become a "dynamic blitzer" against the pass. "He has an explosive burst and the ability to either overpower blockers or slip by them," Jeremiah wrote. "In coverage, he has the speed and athleticism to cover running backs and tight ends but his lack of height/length is a concern down the field." Former NFL scout Russ Lande believes Borland could line up as a stand up edge rusher in a 3-4, but we would keep him at middle linebacker.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 10 - 9:11 PM

Wisconsin ILB Chris Borland will be featured in NFL.com draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah's updated top 50.

The exact ranking is unclear at this time, but it is high praise for a prospect who will likely get knocked by teams due to his lack of ideal size. Jeremiah loves "his timing/burst/finish as a blitzer." Borland is likely best suited on the inside, however, his projection will be an interesting one.
Feb 9 - 1:27 PM

Former NFL scout Russ Lande believes Wisconsin ILB Chris Borland could line up as a stand up edge rusher in a 3-4.

Lande apparently compared Borland "favorably" to James Harrison. We think Borland is a nice blitzer when given the opportunity, specifically using his hands and a spin move, but a full time edge rushing role might be a bit much. There is a lot of buzz on Borland, but we do not expect him to be selected before the third-round.
Feb 6 - 12:39 PM

Wisconsin ILB Chris Borland posted a +2.9 grade during the Senior Bowl, according to Pro Football Focus' scale.

Borland recorded a +1.6 against the run and and +1.3 in coverage. The senior received rave reviews throughout the week. We expected the Zach Thomas comparisons, since Borland does make the most of his size and length to attack blockers and work in tight spaces. He will have to sustain backfield vision in the NFL, however. A second day pick could be in Borland's future. He was limited to 19 defensive snaps in the game.
Jan 27 - 10:01 AM

Wisconsin ILB Chris Borland collected a Senior Bowl-high eight tackles, one TFL and forced a fumble, and "filled gaps between the tackles fearlessly," according to NFL.com's Chase Goodbread.

"The NFL Scouting Combine, where Borland's 40-yard dash will be the race of his life, figures to determine a lot about Borland's draft status," wrote Goodbread. Borland (5-foot-11, 243 pounds) is often compared to former Dolphins' star Zach Thomas. Few attack blockers with the same pop and technique as Borland.
Source: NFL.com
Jan 26 - 7:28 PM

Falcons head coach Mike Smith compared Wisconsin ILB Chris Borland to Zach Thomas.

This is the most obvious comparison of the 2014 draft class, but that does not mean it is right. Borland is obviously undersized, however, he uses the length and strength he has to his advantage. Few attack blockers with the same pop and technique better than Borland, but questioning if he can sustain that backfield vision in the NFL is legitimate.
Jan 23 - 11:09 AM

NFL Media draft expert Mike Mayock compared Wisconsin LB Chris Borland to former Dolphins LB Zach Thomas and a "sawed-off" Luke Kuechly.

Mayock said Borland (5-foot-11, 243 pounds) was "as fun a guy to watch on tape as I have ever seen" and raved about his instincts and quickness. Mayock admitted that Borland's measurables aren't ideal, but said he "wouldn't let this kid get out of the second round." NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah isn't as sold on Borland as Mayock, citing lack of arm length as a major concern.
Source: NFL.com
Jan 22 - 12:16 PM