Photo of Chris  Borland
Drafted By: 49ers
  • Round 3
  • Pick 13
  • Overall 77

Combine Results

Grade
5.38 ?
  • 4.83 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 27 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 31.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 114.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.18 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.27 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Combine Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

"That is such a Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh selection. In a division of hardheads, the 49ers have just added a thundering hardhead. He's too short. He's too slow. I don't care, he can play." -- Mike Mayock

  • 5'11" Height
  • 29 1/4" Arm Length
  • 248LBS. Weight
  • 9 7/8" Hands

Overview

Linebacker-running back who also lettered in basketball, tennis and track and field as an Ohio prep. Was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2009. Backed up weakside linebacker Mike Taylor until Taylor was lost for the season in Week Seven -- played all 13 games, starting five of the final six, and recorded 54 tackles, including 10.5 for loss and five sacks with two pass breakups, an interception, five forced fumbles and a blocked kick. Did not start against Hawaii when the Badgers opened with an extra defensive back. Played through a torn left labrum, routinely dealt with his shoulder popping and had postseason surgery which sidelined him for '10 spring practice. In the fall, managed 7-2-1 in two games played -- started the season opener against UNLV, hurt his left shoulder, sat out against San Jose, then re-injured the shoulder against Arizona State prompting season-ending surgery. Also had surgery in December to repair a tear in his right labrum. Was granted a medical hardship, preserving a year of eligibility. Started all 14 games at middle linebacker in '11 and totaled 143-19-2.5 with five pass breakups, two interceptions and five forced fumbles. Started all 12 games played at MLB in '12, collecting 104-10-4.5 with six pass breakups and three forced fumbles. Did not play against Ohio State and Penn State (right hamstring). Earned first-team All-Big Ten honors for the third straight season and was named the conference's Defensive Player of the Year in '13 when he led the Badgers in tackles -- amassed 112-8.5-4 with two pass breakups and two forced fumbles in 12 starts at MLB. Strained his right hamstring against Illinois and sat out against Iowa. His 15 career forced fumbles are second-most in FBS history. Started 45 career games.

Analysis

Strengths

Is built low to the ground and bends his knees. Keen eyes and instincts -- has a nose for the ball. Quick to fill downhill (see goal-line play vs. Ohio State when he stuck RB Carlos Hyde in the hole and drove him back). Motor runs hot -- pursues hard and seldom quits on plays. Flows well laterally. Aware in zone. Capable of bringing pressure as a blitzer. Good leaping ability. Intense competitor who loves to play and it shows. Defensive playmaker -- piled up 50 career TFL and 14 FFs. Special intangibles.

Weaknesses

Is short with Tyrannosaurus rex arms -- too easily neutralized (struggles to disengage). Eclipsed by larger offensive linemen. Can do a better job protecting his legs. Average explosion, tackle strength and pop on contact. Lets runners escape his grasp. Exposed in space. Has man-coverage limitations, especially against tight ends (lacks length to match up). Durability could be an issue.

Draft Projection

Rounds 4-5

Bottom Line

Short, active, athletic, instinctive tackling machine who will have to overcome physical limitations to establish himself as a dependable, long-term starter, though he has immediate special-teams ability and the makeup to push for a more prominent role.
-Nolan Nawrocki
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.

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