Wisconsin inside linebacker Chris Borland and Auburn running back Tre Mason are two top-level prospects who have injury issues, but NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt reported NFL teams he's talked to don't appear overly concerned about the problems.
Teams I have talked to say Tre Mason (wrist), Chris Borland (shoulder) would pass their physicals. Mason more questionable but would pass.â Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) April 30, 2014
Both players are seen as likely second-day (Rounds 2-3) picks. Mason is No. 62 and Borland No. 73 on Brandt's "Hot 100" list. Mason is the fourth-ranked running back and Borland the second-ranked inside linebacker in NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock's position rankings.
While Borland was an ultra-productive player (420 career tackles, 17 sacks) for a high-level program, his lack of height (he measured 5-foot-11½ at the NFL Scouting Combine) and short arms (29¼ inches) bother some teams. The positives, though, are his intensity, high football IQ and physical nature. He's a three-down linebacker who has the ability to drop into coverage and also serve as an effective blitzer as an inside 'backer.
Mason (5-8½, 207) is not a burner (4.50 in the 40-yard dash at the combine), but he is a tough inside runner who handled a huge workload (317 carries, including six games with at least 27) last season for an extremely run-heavy Auburn club. His receiving ability is a question -- he had just 19 career receptions -- as is his ability to protect the quarterback. He wasn't asked to block at Auburn, and that's a facet of his game that could further suffer as a rookie because of the rehabilitation time he will need after the wrist surgery.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at email@example.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.