IB CHRIS BORLAND, WISCONSIN

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5’11” – 246 lbs. – 4.65e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2009: 54 – 10.5 – 5.0, 7 QBH, 5 FF, 2 PD, 1 INT, 1 BK
2010: 7 – 2.0 – 1.0 (Redshirt)
2011: 143 – 19.0 – 2.5, 2 QBH, 5 FF, 5 PD, 2 INT
2012: 104 – 9.5 – 4.0, 1 QBH, 3 FF, 6 PD
2013: 102 – 8.5 – 4.0, 5 QBH, 1 FF, 1 FR, 2 PD

OVERVIEW:

Started six games as a true freshman, appearing in all thirteen. Was bothered by a shoulder injury in 2010 and ended up redshirting after two games. Started all fourteen games in the following year, earning first-team All-Big Ten recognition, as he did again in 2012 and 2013 after starting twelve and eleven games, respectively. A two-time team captain.

POSITIVES:

•    Started for nearly four years, earning first-team all-conference honors in three seasons.
•    Usually plays inside but has taken some snaps outside, as well as rushing from edge.
•    High-energy player, gets involved in plenty of plays, usually ending up around the ball.
•    Flows well to the ball, capable of covering plenty of ground for an inside linebacker.
•    Explosive acceleration skills when playing downhill, explodes into blockers/ballcarriers.
•    Impressive ability to time the snap count, gain penetration immediately after plays start.
•    Accomplished pass-rusher, may also be able to cover running backs on pass routes.
•    Doesn’t drop into coverage much but looks fluid when he does, covered the slot a bit.
•    Respected in the locker room, having been named a two-time team captain in school.
•    Made contributions on special teams coverage units; also kicked a few extra points.

NEGATIVES:

•    Will always be considerably undersized for a pro linebacker, primarily in terms of height.
•    Size puts him at a disadvantage against tight ends, not an ideal candidate for that role.
•    Also has difficulty preventing blockers from reaching his pads due to his short arms.
•    Much more effective at driving back blockers downhill than he is at anchoring vs. run.
•    Best when allowed to roam without eating blocks, probably limited to four-man fronts.
•    Was asked to blitz with much more frequency than he was employed in coverage.
•    Season-ending shoulder injury two games into 2010 will need to be cleared by doctors.

SUMMARY:

Borland’s short, squat frame leaves a lot to be desired, but he has been a highly-productive starter for the Badgers due to his outstanding timing on blitzes, power as a downhill player, and tenacity. His overall range and athleticism grade out as above-average for a middle linebacker, although he’ll probably be limited to teams running four-man fronts, where he will be allowed to diagnose plays and make tackles without being asked to take on many blocks, being an especially good fit for a scheme such as Oakland’s which calls for their linebackers to blitz regularly. That he was a two-time team captain will also work to his advantage.

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