The 49ers select ILB Chris Borland out of Wisconsin at No. 77
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A two-star linebacker out of Kettering, Ohio, he saw immediate action at Wisconsin as a true freshman and is well on his way to being one of the most productive defenders in program history, currently with 309 career tackles. Borland already holds the Wisconsin career record for forced fumbles (13) and has made an impact behind the line of scrimmage (41.5 tackles for loss).
The highly instinctive, physical (and productive) Borland certainly looks like a candidate for this year’s Rang’s Gang, which highlights a group of prospects who may not possess the ideal size or athleticism, but are terrific football players.
His lack of NFL size and arm length will be tough to overlook for scouts, but he is a heady player who doesn’t make many mistakes and has the productive resume that should get him drafted sometime on the draft’s third day
Heady, passionate player. Consistently diagnoses action correctly, attacking seams to make plays near the line of scrimmage and showing better than advertised speed and change of direction while dropping into coverage. He is a no-nonsense LB, showing impressive pop and determination to get to the ball. Borland is disciplined in space and is rarely fooled, showing good body positioning and timing in coverage.
Despite stellar production, Borland’s pedestrian size and athleticism hurt, but there is some validity to the Zach Thomas comparisons. He lacks elite speed and range to consistently play sideline-to-sideline, but effort and motor aren’t questions – his body and mind are always at full-go. Lack of length shows near the line of scrimmage..