NFL teams say Chris Borland, Tre Mason would pass physicals

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.

NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport has reported that Mason will need wrist surgery after the draft. Borland is recovering from a shoulder injury.

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 mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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